Don’t let the opening half an hour fool you. This is a way better film than you would initially think. I’m not going to give any spoilers because that would, as the word implies, severely spoil the film. It is at its most effective on the first watching although a second watching is worth it. You notice some things that you didn’t the first time as you didn’t know to look for them. Third time? I don’t think I’ll bother.
Audrey Tautou (Amélie) plays Angélique, a young student who is in love with a doctor, Samuel Le Bihan (Brotherhood of the Wolf). And that’s about all I can tell you, plotwise.
At first I wasn’t that convinced with Audrey Tautou but when you know what is happening in the film you can appreciate how good an actress she is. The subtleties become more apparent and her performance is more effective. Samuel Le Bihan is great, but then he’s the one that convinced me that this film was worth a watch. It’s a shame that he doesn’t get to show off some of his Grégoire de Fronsac moves when he gets chinned later in the film. In fact, Mark Dacascos could have joined in, in a tag team manoeuvre. Then a big wolf could charge in and start attacking everyone indiscriminately. That would have pepped things up. Ahem, I digress.
As with most things that rely on a twist, they are initially clever and entertaining but don’t have the lasting power of non-twisty films. So an enjoyable, and darker than you’d think, little French film. Would make a great double bill with Letter From An Unknown Woman for the similar themes and the way it is told through characters’ points of view. Beware though, the DVD only contains a subtitled version so if you can’t multitask, you’re stuffed.
If you like this you could try:
Letter from An Unknown Woman, I've Loved You So Long, Tell No-one.