Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Le Mepris - Contempt

1963 by Jean-Luc Godard - French

Considered one of the best from the maestro by many movie lovers, I sat down for this movie with lots of expectations. But the two sleep less football nights (Sat and Sun - Copa semis) had taken a real toll that soon I was feeling sleepy. I managed to complete the movie, but to be frank was not really impressed, may be because of my sleep.

An American producer hires Paul, a young playwright, to make a movie script more entertaining. The producer Prokosch is also a gameboy and starts seriously wooing Paul's beautiful wife Camille. Got in between his new job, Paul intentionally (I thought so) leaves Camille estranged, who has to bear the presence of Prokosch, which makes her aloof and slowly creates a contempt towards Paul. 

I really felt Paul had left his wife to be alone with Prokosch, quite intentionally. He seems to have understood the nature of Prokosch by then and wanted this job, with a hefty cheque, desperately may be. So with his trust on wife, if she spends just a few minutes with Prokosch in his car, a lift to his place with Paul to follow in a taxi, doesnt look harmful. However, it looked like Camille was quite shocked by this single gesture of her husband and may be she felt exactly what I thought. By the time Paul arrives at Prokosch's home, Camille looks indifferent to her. Of course nothing has happened in this short time, but it is quite evident that any ordinary woman would easily recognise the jackal behind Prokosch. So hereafter, it is all about Paul wondering what has happened to his wife, her indifference towards him and Camille slightly playing her life, may be wondering whether she should continue with him or not, acting nice at times, but with contempt mostly. And Paul's treatment of Camille never helps the situation too.

A second watch of this movie, I believe will help me appreciate its naunces much more. But I loved how Brigitte Bardot played the role of Camille. It was brilliantly realistic. Every husband might find moments in their life, when they do not understand the expression or indifference of their wife. She lived these moments.

If at all I had recollected some of my memories with the Greek epics, whatever I knew before watching this movie, may be it would have helped me better. The script Paul is working is 'The Odyssey', and definitely it looks like the three main characters here, Camille, Paul and Prokovich, is in some way reflective of the epic characters as there was lots of references to the epic here. Even otherwise it depicts how small incidents can grow and estrange the relationship between a couple.  But I really did not understand why the story had to end the way it did, Camille and Prokovich dies in a car accident. Is it to suggest, by Godard, that Camille should not have walked out? A second watch is required anyways.