Tuesday, 4 August 2015

I've Just Seen: A Very Long Engagement (2004)

A Very Long Engagement (Un long dimanche de fiancailles) (2004)


Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

This came out a few years after the utterly wonderful Amelie. Long Engagement is infused with the same fast-paced editing, lovely cinematography and stars Audrey Tatou. We follow Tatou's Mathilde as she searches for her fiance, believed to have been killed in the war. The circumstances of his death are shrouded in mystery, as he was one of a group of men killed by their own side for deliberately harming themselves. We learn more about this group as the film goes on.

The complexity of the plot is the only weakness of this film. I got rather confused at times, trying to remember which soldier's story we were following. It got even more confusing as the stories began to converge with each other. Other than that, this is a lovely romance, with dashes of humour and action. Tatou is great as always, and Marion Cotillard's role, though small, is highly memorable. There is also an appearance from an American actor which was a great surprise: watch it before looking it up!

I know I shall have to watch this again at some point: the plot will (hopefully) be clearer, especially as I now know how it all ends. This is definitely a must-see for lovers of Amelie and WWI films as well.

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