An enthralling, titillating and thrilling psychological drama that will have audience guessing to the very last minute, or gasping. The denouement, perhaps, is too orderly, but the journey is a kaleidoscope looking at a human mind, a veda-scope expanding views of sexuality and a microscope examining human developments. Et voilà, another puzzling piece written and directed by Cannes Film Festival’s darling French director: François Ozon.
First off, the film’s pallet was pinkish red, or was it a smear of a red stain with viscous white? or may be it was rusty red…and perhaps a mingle of flesh, blood and gristle? there were contrasting symbols displaced conscientiously, sometimes it mirrored an abstract concept of a double blind test, sometimes it clearly denoted a causation, and sometimes…transference. Whatever they were, the state of mind was without manipulative magician’s smoke and mirrors. Ozon’s uses of sexual scenes were not accidental or gratuitous, but those were intimate moments when truths could be told. Often sexual acts pinnacled human’s true non-verbal communications: aggression, repression, dominance, submission, fetishes, hates, angers, fears, ….
Chloé Fortin(Marine Vacth) constantly complains to her gynecologist of an unprovoked stomach pain, which she endures since her early childhood. With no medical evidence of physical malaise, her doctor suggests her problem could be psychological. She advises her to seek counseling. Eventually, Chloé takes the advice and setup a meeting with Paul Meyer (Jérémie Renier), a psychiatrist. After lots of leather-couch sessions, Paul commits the faux-pas of Freud’s transference, he has fallen in-love with his “ex-” patient. Quickly they move in and start their lives as a couple. One day Chloé, on a bus, sees Paul’s doppelgänger, who happens to be Paul’s twin-brother, Louis Delord: a psychotherapist. Chloé starts to suspect Paul has hidden secrets about his family, and becomes paranoid. One day, she decides to seek the truth and meet with Louis as Eva: her superego.
I particularly liked those moments when Chloé sat for hours in a museum as a security guard watching over patrons who were observing abstract arts pieces; at times, Chloé blended in and became a part of the show, where she was observed from far. The background was brightly white, and the foreground intensely lit.
It also seems that Ozon has deliberately, or not, taken a page from Ridley Scott, and the effect was quite compelling. Is Ozon hinting his next project will be a sci-fi drama? à suivre.
If you are a fan of Ozon’s films, like me, you will have to watch this film again, and again, and again…cause his films are never dull, but full of complexity!
François Ozon other films: