Friday, October 19, 2007

Not for, not against (France, 2002)

Caty, a 27-years old news photographer meets a chance to make money quickly by photographing a robbery. She starts to hang out regularly with the gang ...

The back of the film box tells this much, and I won't spoil more. It's a noirish film, where an ordinary citizen is gradually attracted to the dark side. "In the beginning: How I became Femme Fatale" could be its second name.

I like the first half for several reasons.

Firstly, it meets my minimum standards of realism. There wasn't any single scene which would have invoked "People just don't behave that way!" alarm. The petty criminals have low impulse control and don't care about harm done to others, and are attracted by glamorous life of bling-bling and sex. The criminals as well as the girl believe that you can get something for nothing - the lottery ticket which the girl scrapes sum it up quite well.

Secondly, the sexual market value interactions were about right. The man showed high status by demonstrating his affluence. He demands that thing are done his way; at the same time he signals indifference by making it clear for the girl that she simply leave if she doesn't like his way. The man also gives protection for the girl; the gang liberates the girl from unwelcome approaches by threatening with violence those who try to approach.

Thirdly, it captures well the sense of urban existential void and isolation, both in some scenes and in the background music.

The girl is somewhat contradictory combination of high class and low class. The fact that she practiced ballet dancing, chose a semi-artistic profession and lives in a spacious apartment implies middle-to-high class. His eagerness to make quick money and lack of parent involvement during the whole film implies low class.

The second half is like an entirely different movie, but the final solution is superb.