Bel Ami (2012)



Quel dommage?! And I was thinking that Robert Pattinson was showing some other sides of his acting skill with the opening scene, but I was wrong and frustrated with an otherwise great story and good actresses that obviously trying so hard to salvage their colleague’s 3 to 4 facial expressions, baggy eyes, sweaty forehead, and that same vampire smile that showed enough teeth with his fangs concealed! For him and Kristen Stewart, perhaps, Twilight has become their worst nightmare.

Bel Ami takes place during la Belle Époque in France. A broke and broken Georges Duroy (Robert Pattinson) spends his last centimes on beer at a local bar with people of different classes, and he sees Charles Forestier (Philip Glenister), someone he knew in the army. The meeting becomes the catalyst of his future fortune. Along the way, three women assist his way to wealth.

It starts with Madeleine Forestier(Uma Thurman), who has her lover and husband impersonate her talents, and intelligence. She takes Georges on as an apprentice, but he is stupid enough to trash it all. Clotilde de Marelle(Christina Ricci) has Georges first as her boy-toy (using our 21st century parlance), but after she realizes he screwed a French prostitute, she stops their rendezvous in a flat that she owns. When Madeleine shows Georges who really is the boss, he finally divorces her. In the meantime, his ambition to sleep his way up knows no bounds. He, of course, sleeps with his boss’s wife too, Virginie Rousset(Kristin Scott Thomas). The backdrop is about the pre- Algerian and Moroccan’s wars, but the film didn’t really give much of its significance, but brushing over them in very broad strokes: pity!

The final scene can be described as jabbing a knife in someone’s heart, turning it enough that the victim doesn’t die, but suffer. Poor Rousset.

The question bubbling in my head is WHY? Was it about the haves and have-nots, and a revenge of the riches. If not, he must be Goddamn pretty, oozing of youth, well-equipped young man to be so successful with these women, but so hopelessly clueless that disaster doomed to happen. ( I shall read the novel by Guy de Maupassant to find out myself: the why.)

I know we are ready to accept a gold-digger story, so a boy-toy story should be refreshing and exciting, but Robert Pattinson hadn’t convinced me enough to see Georges through him of his motives, and hence my verdict:



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