Belle de Jour

1967

Drama

126
IMDb Rating 7.8 10 35,536

Synopsis


Downloaded 18,079 times
June 8, 2019

Director

Cast

Catherine Deneuve as Herself
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
828.86 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
100 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.58 GB
1920×1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
100 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by pvenktesh2001 10 / 10 / 10

Towards a better understanding of Belle de jour...

Severine is a beautiful young lady belonging to the bourgeoisie society, married to a doctor, Pierre. Though she loves her husband, something stops her from going to bed with him. She is apparently troubled, and has erotic fantasies, with her husband always playing the bad guy - tormenting her. The director is very cunning in sprinkling some scenes from Severine's childhood which actually give a lot of clue regarding her troubled life. One such scene depicts her being abused by an elderly man (probably her father). This in my opinion is very revealing and makes our understanding of Severine's other actions/imaginations even better. She always considered herself impure, and was ashamed of letting her husband know that. This can be seen in one such sprinkler scenes where the girl Severine refuses to accept the holy offerings from the Father in the Church. And this scene is very aptly placed while Severine is found going up the stairs of the brothel to take up the job as a prostitute. Having been abused by an elderly man in her childhood, Severine, justifiably doesn't enjoy an young man's company in the bed (her husband). And she has erotic fantasies about going to bed with elderly clients at the brothel....again taking a job at the brothel is a fantasy and NOT real. This is very evident from the very funny, illogical incidents that take place in the brothel. Into her fantasies walks a young man and she had to please him on the bed at the brothel. While she lay on the bed, the young man notices a mark on her and queries her about it. When Severine says its just a birth mark (remember...this is analogous to the impurity she is carrying with her from her childhood), the young man initially rejects her (she thinks her husband would similarly reject her for her impurity) but finally gives in and enjoys her. Only then she realises that, the young man also bears a scar on his back, which he says is from a knife stab. She realises, everyone has a scar to be reconciled with in life. This gives her a great sense of relief and her attitude towards her husband slowly changes. In her fantasies, however, Severine sees a conflict between the young client and her husband, and that the young man kills her husband in a fit of rage, only to be killed in turn by the policeman. She ends the life of the young client in her fantasies. She confides in a family friend (who is actually shown as one more client at the brothel) and she is relieved that the husband knows the truth. This leads to a better understanding of her husband and a new relationship blossoms. Now, the husband, whom Severine thought was nothing but a crippled man, blind, and unyielding,she realises that she had in fact only imagined all that and puts an end to her fantasies, symbolised by the empty coach driven in the last scene.

Reviewed by ClassicAndCampFilmReviews 10 / 10 / 10

Great exercise in surrealism

"Belle de Jour" is generally considered to be director Luis Bunuel's masterpiece; a surprisingly revealing and seemingly personal venture into the world of eroticism and its deviances. It's a truly surrealistic exercise in ambiguity, fantasy, and reality. The line that separates them is blurred so much that the famously mysterious ending has had critics arguing for decades over its meaning. The fantasy sequences are usually signalled by the sound of carriage bells, but by the end of the film the viewer is no longer able to differentiate between what is another one of Severine's fantasies and what is reality. Even Bunuel admitted to not knowing himself. He said that "by the end, the real and imaginary fuse; for me they form the same thing." The gorgeous Catherine Deneuve, resplendent in her icy prime, portrays Severine Sevigny, the middle-class wife of Pierre, a doctor. She is frigid, virginal, yet seemingly happy enough in her bourgeoisie life and its trappings. However, upon hearing about a local clandestine brothel from a friend, she pays a visit to the madame, and becomes a prostitute, going by the name of "Belle de Jour", as she can only work in the afternoons. She apparently fully realizes and enjoys her sexuality, despite her guilty conscience, exclaiming that she "can't help it". She certainly doesn't need the money. She's bored with her life and her marriage, needing a "firm hand" to lead her; a need which the madame, Anais, who is obviously attracted to her, almost immediately recognizes. Her sweet and conventional husband is unaware, treating her much like a child, and the audience cannot help but believe that even if he knew of her true nature, he would not understand or empathize. She keeps her two worlds neatly separate until a patron of hers (whom she herself enjoys) becomes obsessed with her, and all is threatened. That Alfred Hithcock in particular admired this film comes as no surprise to me; Deneuve would have been the perfect Hitchcock heroine: an icy blonde who becomes "a whore in the bedroom", as Hitchock was fond of saying he preferred in his leading ladies. But this remark is not meant to simplify the story, its telling, or Deneuve's remarkable performance, which is what truly draws the viewer into the film. "Belle de Jour" was Bunuel's first foray into the use of color, and he employed it to great effect. From the fall colors displayed in the landscape scenes, to the subtle shades in Deneuve's clothing, the contrasts are set. While the world around her explodes in glorious hues, Deneuve's character is defined by her couture, if staid, wardrobe of tan, black, and white. "Belle de Jour" was unreleased for many years due to copyright problems, but finally re-released in 1995 through the efforts of director Martin Scorcese, and released on DVD in 2003. I've watched it twice in the past week and am still at a loss to describe it very well; suffice to say that I am in awe. It's an amazingly erotic film without any explicitness, and one that I expect hasn't lost any of its effect over the years. As the subject matter is handled very tactfully and without any actual sex scenes; a great deal is left to the viewer's imagination - which only serves the heighten the mysteries inherent at every turn in the film. The viewer is however drawn into the sense of feeling to be a voyeur into Severine's secret life; the careful choreography of scenes and camera angles contribute to the uncomfortable sense of intrusion by us, the viewers. There are many sub-stories and small mysteries in the film; for instance one of the most widely debated upon by critics is the mystery of "what is in the Asian client's little box?" that he presents first to one prostitute, who quickly refuses, then to Severine, who tentatively agrees. All the audience know is that it's something with a insect-like noise, and when the client leaves, Severine is sprawled face-down upon the bed, the sheets thrown about, and obviously pleased with whatever took place in the interim. "Belle de Jour" was awarded the Golden Lion at the 1967 Venice Film Festival, as well as the award for Best Foreign Film in 1968 from the New York Film Critics Circle. Interesting side notes: Bunuel himself had a shoe fetish, which helps explain the numerous shots of Deneuve's beautifully clad feet throughout the film, and the fact that every time she goes shopping, she buys shoes. He also appears in the film in a cameo as a cafe patron, and in another scene his hands are shown loading a gun.

Reviewed by gftbiloxi 10 / 10 / 10

Unique, Strange, and Memorable

The premise of BELLE DU JOUR is well known. A young, beautiful, and slightly frigid doctor's wife (Catherine Deneuve) secretly harbors fantasies of being dominated, humiliated, and abused by her husband (Jean Sorel.) When these fantasies can no longer be denied, she becomes a prostitute under the sponsorship of a possibly lesbian madam (Geneviève Page), working during the afternoons while her husband is at his own work. Her sexuality is awakened by the sometimes brutish clients, who soon discover that "she likes it rough," and she is ultimately caught up a relationship with a truly dangerous client (Pierre Clémenti) whose possessiveness threatens to destroy both her and her husband. Throughout the film Deneuve slips in and out of memory and fantasy, sometimes recalling herself as a possibly molested child, sometimes imagining herself as the victim in a series of sexual assault fantasies. Director Bunuel, whose masterpiece this is, so blurs the line between memory, reality, and fantasy that by the film's conclusion one cannot be sure if some, most, or everything about the film has been Deneuve's fantasy. Although it includes a number of impressive performances (particularly by Geneviève Page, her girls, and their clients), BELLE is essentially Deneuve's film from start to finish, and she gives an astonishing performance that cannot be easily described. Like the film itself, it is a balancing act between fantasy and a plausible reality that may actually be nothing of the kind. Bunuel presents both her and the film as a whole in an almost clinical manner, and is less interested in gaining our sympathy for the character than in presenting her as an object for intellectual observation. Ultimately, BELLE DU JOUR seems to be about a lot of things, some of them obvious and some of them extremely subtle. And yet, given the way in which it undercuts its realities by blurring them with fantasy, it is also entirely possible that the film is not actually "about" anything except itself. Individuals who insist on clear-cut meanings and neatly wrapped conclusions will probably loathe it--but those prepared to accept the film on its own terms will find it a fascinating experience. Recommended. Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer

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