This movie is in French, with English subtitles.
Jeanne Moreau, Oskar Werner, Henri Serre
Jim: What is it?
Catherine: Sulfuric acid, for the eyes of men who tell lies.
Jules (Werner) is an Austrian and Jim (Serre) is a Frenchman. They are best friends, though that is tested when a free-spirited woman, Catherine (Moreau), comes between them. Over the years, this love triangle changes shapes and directions, all the while spinning perilously towards a dark conclusion.
This was my first exposure to the film styling of Francois Truffaut. In fact, the only thing I really knew him from was his appearance in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I do know he’s influential and beloved by many people, and that this movie is a particular fan favorite. I can see why, for the most part, though it does get pretty dark and depressing in the latter stages of the film.
The initial relationship between the 3 main characters is fun to watch. Catherine leads the two men on random adventures that they’ve never experienced before. You can see why both men would be attracted to her, though Jim promises Jules not to pursue her. It’s almost like a brotherly relationship where the “I called it” rule applies. Unfortunately for Jules, Catherine is a woman who simply can’t be possessed like that.
As Catherine grows bored and has a relationship with another man before then bouncing to Jim, the film just gets more and more depressing to watch. I really felt bad for everyone, Jules in particular, as he seemed like the only one who knew what would truly make him happy – being with Catherine.
The more the meanness and conflict grew, the more my patience for the movie waned. Then the final, rather shocking, scene just left me sort of baffled. Though, I guess it makes sense in the context of the movie. It’s interesting how much my opinion of Catherine changed from the beginning of the movie to the end. At first she seemed like a fun, charming person, but in the end I saw her as sort of selfish, lonely, and sad.
I can’t say I loved this movie, but I do respect it from a story point of view and a style point of view. I can see its influence in various movies and even music videos I’ve seen over the years.
Crazy can be mistaken as “free-spirited” quite easily…especially when it’s pretty.
10 – 2.2 for a depressing/aggravating second half – .4 for some character behavior that seemed inconsistent = 7.4