Tuesday, June 9, 2009


14th French Film Festival
Cinema 3, Shang Cineplex

The title reveals it all, doesn't it? Marie-Jo is a middle aged woman who is happily married to Daniel yet she is also having a torrid affair with Marco.

The setting is the coastal town of Marseille. Cinematography is breathtaking with scenes of the Mediterranean sea. Thus giving the film an airy, breezy vibe. Even though the main premise is a complex love story.

The three main characters are well developed and they expressively conveyed a varied array of emotions. It is difficult to understand how a woman can equally love two men, at the same time. Yet in the film, Marie-Jo strangely enough does indeed love both her husband and her lover with the same intensity. I like to believe it is only in Europe or in the Western world where such a scenario is plausible without the two guys involved killing each other for the affections of one woman. Or maybe it only happens in the movies? I have no idea.

Nonetheless, this film is a good character study of three entirely different personalities. You cannot really blame her affair on a miserable marriage. Because on the contrary, Marie-Jo and Daniel still have an active sex life, their business is flourishing, their only daughter is successful, they have a comfortable home and they can afford some excesses like a small boat. In short, their life is 'almost' perfect.
On the other hand, Daniel's silent acceptance of the affair is mysterious. We never get to know for sure what he really feels about it yet we are led to believe he is definitely in pain and conflicted over his wife's betrayal.
As for Marco, well he is also an interesting character to watch. The silent brooding type who is well traveled, good mannered and culturally inclined.

But yes eventually Marie-Jo does confront her issues and in the end, she tragically made her final decision which for me raises a lot of questions. Questions about her actions, her decisions and her motives. So I agree that the film was well presented and well played out with a talented cast.

In my opinion it doesn't really aim to project a moral stance on the behaviors of its characters. It is entirely up to the audience to conjure up their own opinions, beliefs on Marie-Jo's shortcomings as a woman, as a mother and more importantly as an human being.

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