Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Le chat (1971)

This work of director Pierre Granier-Deferre is interesting to watch, since two great actors, Jean Gabin and Simone Signoret, are in it.

Having married for 25 years, Julien Bouin has lost his passion for his wife Clémence. He sneers at her, but they are not divorced as he cannot leave his home. It's amazing to see how two people can live side by side that way. One day, Julien brings home a cat. Seeing how he loves the cat so much, but ignores the wife, Clémence first slanders the cat, next leaves it in a supermarket (but it comes home), and finally shoots the poor creature. Julien puts the dead cat in a trash-bin and moves to a hotel owned by his ex-mistress. He finally returns home, worrying about his wife's heart disease; but he never speaks a word to her anymore and his wife to him. The story is told in flashbacks, so in the beginning of the movie we see Julien and Clémence both do his&her own shopping and cooking. First she enters into a shop and he only comes in after she has gone out. She buys the last bottle of his favourite rum and doesn't share it with him. He cooks his dinner and doesn't share it with her.

I've seen old couples who are not in love anymore, but this couple in this movie is a very bad example. Each day must be like hell. Imagine Julien, after working all day, when he returns home, he must be wanting to rest - mind and body; yet he must face a wife whom he doesn't want anymore. It's better if they had been divorced, in my opinion, because often, when two people haven't seen each other for a while, perhaps they will forget each other's faults and keep the happier memories. "There should be a law which prohibits two people who don't love each other to live in the same house."

Returning to the house is like a habit for Julien Bouin, even if inside it lives his biggest enemy. The cat triggers the cold war between the couple, and the news that they are to be evicted from the house also adds fuel to the aversion.

No comments: