Le bonheur (2013) by Fabrice Grange #WFF2013

This film, unlike a few others watched during the Warsaw Film Festival 2013, treats people who have all they need and instead of searching for freedom, new lives or jobs, seek new challenges in everyday life.
Told in first person voice over, shot in black&white over the roofs of Paris, inside Parisian flats, underneath Parisian trottoirs.

What initially could be interpreted as a tale of one spoiled 30-something married woman, who is not accepted by her family (especially the Mother), and whose husband is absent more than not, providing her with all her material needs, becomes a disturbing tale of setting one’s borders in a relationship with another person. Alice tries many things which may be attempts for fighting the rejection of her parents. At one point she agrees to anything suggested by her friend/lover Jean who also cheats on his wife and family. Somehow, Alice’s case seemingly bears no ethical questions, whereas Jean seems to have some sort of a guilty conscience towards his family. Alice does not. And it is not clear whether her goal to reach happiness has been met by the end of the story.

Certain points presented here might perhaps be more appreciated by those who have seen and experienced the French New Wave. Some may leave the cinema shocked – perhaps by the coldness of the Alice character and her openness to anything – both carnal and spiritual.
This film makes one uneasy and it is not obvious as to exactly why. However, this is yet another perspective on contemporary consumerist society, devout of values, where boundaries are only set by another person’s conscience.

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Filed under film reviews, Warsaw Film Festival 2013

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