Thursday, October 15, 2009

La règle du jeu (1939)

In the beginning of the movie, Jean Renoir claims that this movie is not a study of morality and this, in my opinion, only triggers our sense because the characters are interesting enough for us to study their morality. What is so remarkable about La règle du jeu is its continuing scenes with many characters glide from one spot to another, especially in the mansion hall. This movie reminds me of Gosford Park.

The story centers on Christine, daughter of an Austrian musician who is married to Robert de la Cheyniest. She is loved by André Jurieux, the French hero who flied solo over Atlantic; and Octave, her late father's friend. On the other hand, Robert has a mistress. However, Christine is a happy woman and can even discuss with her rival Robert's bad habit: smoking in bed. Robert invites his friends to La Colinière where they will do the hunting.

Lisette, Christine's maid, prefers to leave her husband Schumacher the game-keeper, than her employer. In La Colinière, Robert hires Marceau, an ex-poacher. Marceau soon tries to seduce Lisette. This makes Schumacher angry and after a series of fights, both the game-keeper and ex-poacher lose their jobs. When Octave goes into the green-house with Christine, who wears Lisette's cape, Schumacher thinks that Lisette plays fire with Octave and he wants to get rid of that man. However, who will die but our national hero Jurieux?

My favourite character is the cook. When he is told that one of the guests wants salt from the sea, he says that the guest will get the usual salt like everybody else. He adds that he can accept diet but not craziness.

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