Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Une histoire d'amour (1951)

The first time I saw this, it was a movie very ordinary. Last night I watched it for the 2nd time - because in the first time I missed the opening credits and later realized that the music was done by Paul Misraki, so I watched it again to have a better listening of the music, which was lovely indeed.

Inspector Plonche (Louis Jouvet) is given a task to investigate the death of two young lovers, presumably suicide. Two police find the bodies in the beginning of a movie, in a deserted coach, in a deserted place. Plonche's superior eagers to close the case asap, but Plonche wants to find why the young couple chose to die, and he does a thorough investigation.

The inspector first investigates the young man's father, Auguste Bompart, a sculptor who lives with a vulgar woman; and after that the girl's parents, the Mareuils, who own the metal factory
in the city. Plonche will slowly learn the story of the ill-fated lovers, from their first meeting during Catherine Mareuil's birthday party, the disapproval of their love by Catherine's parents - because Jean is only a trainee accountant in Mareuil's factory and Auguste is their ex-employee, sacked because of a theft - although later we will know that this is not true. In the end, Plonche will show the parents that their children are forced to take the cyanide because they don't want their happiness torn away from them. The tragic thing is, they don't need to die, but the appearance of two police doing a routine becomes a nightmare for them, after what they have been through. "No law prohibits idiot parents to have children." says the inspector. In this movie, it sounds sad.

My favourite moment is the Catherine's party, where high-class people gather together and make "funny" comments. When Catherine dances with Jean all the time, they say that he has no manner and wonder what sort of education she has got, while for her he is "Jean" and for him she is "Catherine" - no need for the surnames, which remind them that she is his boss's daughter and he is her father's employee. There is an old woman who comments that the young, beautiful Catherine looks older and has bags under her eyes.

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