Sunday, June 9, 2013

ALCESTE A BICYCLETTE
(CYCLING WITH MOLIERE)


18th French Film Festival
Greenbelt 3 Cinemas


A famous TV star Gauthier Valence sets off to an island in the south of France with a mission.  He wants to hire the reclusive actor Serge Tanneur in his production of a famous Moliere stage play entitled "The Misanthrope".   Serge has been living a hermit like existence for 3 years after he 'walked' off from the entertainment industry.   So he certainly won't budge at the drop of a hat to return to the limelight.  Soon enough, a planned overnight stay for Gauthier turns into a week as he needs more time to convince Serge.  

This film is set in a very picturesque part of France where life seems to pass by slowly. A perfect setting for Serge who has certainly turned into a misanthrope, himself.  The sequences mostly unfold between the two actors inside the rustic albeit dilapidated house of Serge where they rehearse their parts on a daily basis.  An occasional bike ride around the tiny town serves as a buffer between rehearsals.

The lengthy exchange between two thespians with huge egos was worth watching. Even though I had no essence on the plot of the play, it seemed like a rather complicated dialogue driven comedy of errors much like Shakespeare's tragedies.  A certain way of delivering the dialogue is essential and the rehearsal turns into a heated discussion as each actor deems he knows best how to convey Moliere's words.

As they painstakingly rehearse, they also discover more insights into the personal lives of each other.  Thus making it less boring as the film isn't confined to merely reciting lines from a Moliere play.  

Although the conclusion was pretty much predictable judging from the rigid nature of Serge, the gorgeous cinematography and the fine acting from the two lead actors is worth one's time.

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