Friday, June 9, 2006

RIVIERA

Miou Miou, Vahina Giocante, Elie Semoun

Cinema 1, Shang Cineplex
11th French Film Festival

This is the first film I caught at this year's French Film Festival which runs from June 9 to June 18,2006.
It focuses on 2 women. Stella, a young woman who works as a dancer at a club. Her mother, Antoniette is a chambermaid at the Grand hotel. The setting is the French Riviera along the Cote D'azur. Throw in a 3rd character, Jean Michel a real estate agent who is a guest at the hotel.
The film shot in such a lovely location primarily focuses on the deep bond between mother and daughter. This develops even if they keep different hours cause of their jobs. Simple enough, right?
Well if you delve deeper, you will discover a lot more. A mother's desire to wish something better for her daughter's future. The daughter's acceptance of what she does for a living. How people stereotype you based on preconceived ideas. That women just want to be accepted and treated with respect. Loneliness indeed eat up people's souls. That one person's actions does have consequences. Most of all a mother's love for her daughter is a very powerful tool. I could go on and on, the implied scenarios are numerous. Or maybe I just analyze too much.
After all the movie is fraught with a semblance of simplistic nature. Dialogue is minimal, you can hear a pin drop. Techno music blares out loud to mask the silence. You have panoramic shots of a deep blue sky and the blue ocean. The pacing is slow almost to the point of boredom. Sometimes you try not to fall asleep.
Yet at the same time, I kept thinking there must be some sort of moralistic aspect to this film. That sometimes if you try too hard to make things happen for the best intentions, it can just backfire on you? I don't know.
I said earlier I overanalyze movies but there is something about French films that make me do that with wild abandon. They have this uncunning ability to end movies without providing you answers to some points that entered your mind. Fair enough. I like to use my brain cells once in a while, not be spoonfed with visual effects, even if it is just a movie, after all.

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