Thursday, April 9, 2009

La Maison Tellier (2008)

This movie is based on one of Guy de Maupassant's stories. Madame Odile runs a brothel with four beautiful girls. One day she receives a letter from her brother whom she hasn't seen for many years (we know the reason why) that her niece FĂ©licie is going to have the first communion and she wants her godmother to attend. Odile buys a diamond necklace for her niece, close the brothel for 2 days (with a notice: Closed due to a First Communion), and take her girls along for she cannot leave them unattended. Her sister-in-law and niece don't know her real job is, so she says she owns a clothing business and that the 4 girls are her sales girls. Things are going well, even the priest is impressed for they weep in the church during the sermon. [He speaks about the angels in heaven who rejoice over one sinner who repents, and there are five prostitutes in the church that time.] One of girls, Loulou, has even got an offer of marriage.

However, in the feast, when they are merry after eating and drinking, the girls dance on the table and show their legs and one of the guests makes a comment that it's like being in a brothel. Interesting to note that Odile's sister-in-law and her brother don't have any suspicion at all. It's only Jean, Odile's brother, whose shame for having a sister like her, who ruins the party and his own daughter's prospect to get Odile's money. Jean reveals Odile's secret and tells her to go back to town.

What we learn from this story, is that Odile and her girls are basically good people and kind hearted (even though I think they giggle too much); but the society don't like how they make their money and treat them like pest. Loulou says, "I don't want to be a prostitute anymore." but can she go into the dirt and beg?

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