Friday, July 18, 2008


Marion Cotillard, Gerard Depardieu, Emmanuelle Seigner, Sylvie Testud, Jean Pierre Martins

"The extraordinary life of Edith Piaf"

Extraordinary life indeed. But what is more extraordinary in my opinion is the masterful performance of Marion Cotillard as the diminutive singer. She looked exactly like Edith Piaf! Her mannerisms, her facial expressions, her gait and even her pout. Everything about the singer was perfectly embodied in her acting. No wonder she won the best actress award at the Oscars. She truly deserves it.

The biopic itself had a gloomy, depressive tone since it mostly focused on the very difficult life of Edith Piaf. Her bleak childhood in the slums, her struggles as a young singer, her numerous challenges encountered before hitting it big with her powerful voice - all well detailed in the film. The non linear approach of the director was confusing but nevertheless well executed. Veering sometimes on an overtly dramatic tone, certain scenes were difficult to absorb. Shots of Piaf abusing her body with tons of alcohol and drugs and wasting away her voice and her life were painful to watch. I guess the director wanted to draw in more sympathy for her plight. Her songs would invade your senses and even if you couldn't understand what she was singing about, you could still sense the angst riddled melody prevalent in her songs.

For me the most poignant scenes were the ones where they focused on her love affair with Marcel, the French boxer. The sob story of an ill fated romance. But it brought so much joy in her bleak existence, the singer would positively glow in his presence. It felt good to watch some happy moments amidst all the drinking, the tantrums and the troubles she endured.

It is filmed entirely in French with English subtitles. They didn't provide subtitles for her songs but suffice it to say you could still feel the profound effect of her powerful music. Most of her songs are sung without the proper enunciation of the words but that was distinctly her style. She was a feisty woman of the streets and her songs essayed her melodramatic and dare I say tragic life.

The film runs at 2 hours and 21 minutes. But even at that length I am sure there are several aspects of her life which wasn't tackled in this biopic. But the ones shown in this film are powerful enough to make a vivid impact. It was mostly due to the impressive acting skills of Marion Cotillard. "La Vie en Rose" is a story of a life well lived and which truly deserved to be told. In the immortal words of Edith Piaf, she sang about having no regrets at all. Words which tug at your heartstrings because they definitely depicted her colorful existence.

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien
Non, Rien De Rien,
Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien
Ni Le Bien Qu`on M'a Fait, Ni Le Mal
Tout Ca M'est Bien Egal
Non, Rien De Rien, Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien
C'est Paye, Balaye, Oublie, Je Me Fous Du Passe

Avec Mes Souvenirs J'ai Allume Le Feu
Mes Shagrins, Mes Plaisirs,
Je N'ai Plus Besoin D'eux
Balaye Les Amours Avec Leurs Tremolos
Balaye Pour Toujours
Je Reparas A Zero

Non, Rien De Rien, Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien
Ni Le Bien Qu'on M'a Fait, Ni Le Mal
Tout Ca M'est Bien Egal
Non, Rien De Rien, Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien
Car Ma Vie, Car Me Joies
Aujourd'hui Ca Commence Avec Toi

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