Saturday, June 8, 2013

LE PRENOM
(WHAT'S IN A NAME?)

18th French Film Festival
Greenbelt 3 Cinemas



This French film adapted from a play unfolds in a single setting. The cozy apartment of Sorbonne Professor, Pierre and his schoolteacher wife, Elizabeth.  A dinner of Moroccan fare is painstakingly prepared by Elizabeth and their guests include her brother Vincent a smoothly suave yet quite successful realtor and Claude, a long time family friend.  

After a witty montage of the history behind some famous Parisian streets narrated by a voiceover (which apparently belonged to Vincent), the film starts rolling as they converse over appetizers while waiting for Anna, Vincent's pregnant partner to arrive from her meeting.

The conversation veers towards a 'game' that Vincent initiates for them to guess what he intends to name his unborn son.  The discussion takes on a heated tone as soon as the politically incorrect name is revealed.  In a household with intellectual minds, a clash of opposing views and opinions is bound to be very intense.  The bickering continues and culminates with shocking revelations that shake each of them to the core.

That it was adapted from a play is quite evident in this dialogue driven film. The ensemble cast is brilliant as they essay out their characters strong points as well as their shortcomings with ease.   4 of the 5 cast members are the original members in the staged play which received many awards.

The film version also succeeds on two points - the talented cast and the cleverly crafted dialogue which certainly was thought provoking to say the least.

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