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.
Belle de Jour
Belle de Jour
A frigid young housewife decides to spend her midweek afternoons as a prostitute.
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June 8, 2019