Romance

1999

Drama

164
IMDb Rating 5.3 10 9,126

Synopsis


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August 12, 2019

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786.12 MB
1280*720
French
R
23.976 fps
84 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.46 GB
1920×1080
French
R
23.976 fps
84 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Quinoa1984 5 / 10 / 10

at best a few curious intellectualized moments and some (appropriately) uncomfortable real sex. the rest...

Someone hit the proverbial nail-on-the-head with Romance. A critic wrote that it's like a "bad update of an Antonioni film", and I think that's about as fair a description as one could ask for. It may also depend on how you feel already about Antonioni and his depiction of the precise lack of love or responsiveness of emotional contact in people - or, perhaps, if you've even actually seen an Antonioni movie. While Catherine Breillat probably (and, I would admit, rightfully) considers herself a thoughtful, passionate filmmaker interested in passionless people and in trying to pick apart the thoughts (or anti-thoughts) of a character like Marie, I have to ask after a while, in a film that doesn't have Antonioni-stature direction or compositions: what's the point? We have seen women like this in other movies, in loveless relationships or going out to spread or fulfill their empty wishes or such with others. Such as, yeah, Antonioni, but others too. It's frustrating to watch, to say the least, but I wasn't ready at first to hold that against the movie. I wanted to see what it had to say, to see how Breillat would show people just having realistic sex, explicit in depiction (naturally, and believe you me its real sex) and talking like couples (or not-couples) do in such situations. I tried to stick with Marie's self-analyzing, her self-aggrandizing thoughts expressed in the first-person narration. In an odd way Caroline Ducey gives a good performance, or better than I remember at the time watching it, since she is good enough to not really need the narration to fill in the audience. Her face, her lack of expression, her inverted and bored and, perhaps, deep down f***ing scared self, show enough. The telling becomes overkill, even from a psychological stand-point. Some may not agree with this, and that's fine. Some may watch Romance and just love that it shows real people having problems and having such problems during real sex. For the first half I could stick with the movie even as it had its pretensions because I wanted to see where it headed with Marie's infidelity (with the unnecessary lie about being married). It's when the other guy at the school Marie teaches at, and takes her in and turns things up on the sado-masochist meter that I started to waver on it... and, odder still, got bored. It didn't interest me seeing how perverted this guy could get, or how accepting Marie was of it or how it was shot or scored or edited. I admired that it attempted at depicting such a torrid sexual situation so seriously, but it ultimately just didn't do it for me - not on the kind of level the old-school hardcore-serious-erotic films did (i.e. Last Tango in Paris). Romance is intelligent, and it does have something to say about women and loveless relationships. But was I moved by any of it or intellectually engaged after a certain point? No. It's a movie in a limbo where it wants to have something important to convey through art no matter what the cost, but the points aren't as interesting as its filmmaker thinks or terribly original. And if you just want to watch it for the sex, you're in for a not-too-good surprise. 5.5/10

Reviewed by bbhlthph 8 / 10 / 10

Not a Harlequin style romance.

Before I comment on this film two introductory remarks are necessary. (1) I recommend anyone who is aware of the way in which it was panned by the critics ("puerile self conscious euro-trash", etc) to forget these reviews. I believe it is an unusually rewarding work to see. (2) The title is very misleading, just reading it one cannot be aware of the irony with which it must have been chosen, and anyone expecting to see the film equivalent of a Harlequin novel needs to be warned in advance. The story is of a young women who loves her very unresponsive husband, but finds the dissatisfaction she feels from her rare and unfulfilling copulation with him drives her into a series of increasingly destructive extra-marital relationships. These are very graphically portrayed, although she struggles to keep her marriage intact. To me this is perhaps the most unsatisfying aspect of the film - today I would have expected that such a marriage would have broken up very quickly and the woman involved would have felt free to look for a more fulfilling relationship. However many films and novels are based on the theme of women who accept either indifference or a great deal of both physical and mental abuse from partners that they love, and I must accept that this is an important theme for a film. Although the story is far from new, it is handled here with unusual sensitivity and understanding. Some of the sex scenes would normally only be seen in a hardcore porn film and this appears to be what has upset most of the critics, but I cannot go along with this as a valid criticism. Why should films exploiting torture, death and destruction be accepted as mainstream, whilst those dealing with the personal relationships so vital to living a fulfilling life become subject to censorship? However it is important to warn anyone considering viewing this film that although it contains a great deal of graphic sexual activity it is never erotic.These scenes (even those between the young woman and her husband with whom she is certainly in love) uniformly show cold mechanical and meaningless relationships which are ultimately self destructive. They concentrate on the emotions of the woman concerned and, since she is largely passive in most of them, and can often only convey the story through her facial expressions, such scenes require both a very fine actress and a very sensitive director in order to succeed. In my opinion this film provides both. It could probably only have been directed by a woman, and one can sense the determination of both the director and the lead actress to draw viewers of both sex into the story so that they are not merely voyeurs, but are forced to consider its relevance both to their own lives and to those of their friends. Ultimately the ending of a film of this type can make or mar it. Both a happy and a totally tragic ending for what is intended to be a look at the lives of quiet desperation lived by many women would be inappropriate. Instead the director has taken our understanding of her main character further forward by showing us that for many such women their ultimate satisfaction comes from their children rather than from their life partner. It is a mark of a successful film when graphic images from it keep coming back to mind long afterwards, particularly when these images force one to consider whether there are lessons in it applicable to ones own life. I believe this would be the experience of most of those who see this film Although I would NOT recommended it as either a skin flick or an erotic film for a couple to watch together in the bedroom, I have no hesitation in recommending it strongly to all those who adequately appreciate what they can expect from it.

Reviewed by Chris_Docker 8 / 10 / 10

A movie about realising identity - not about gender

I was very confused at the end of 'Romance' as to whether I liked it or not, and whether I thought it was a good film or not. The best bit for me was probably the Q&A with director Catherine Breillat at the end. She was (especially with the help of a translator) very interesting and articulate - whether one agreed with her or not - and I found the film a valuable commentary on her thoughts rather than the other way round. The film is confusing; as we are aware, this is not pornography - but what *is* it about? Gender issues? Masochism? The female central character goes through a number of extreme sexual encounters and eventually finds some sense of identity unrelated to her sense of being part of a sexual partnership - although the struggle to find that identity has necessitated exploring her sexual desire. The other issue is censorship, as Breillat has something of a mission to push back censorship; this is related to her philosophical take on sexuality however rather than abolishing censorship for the sake of doing so alone. That which (sexually) disgusts us is twinned to that which (sexually) uplifts - the difference is not in the type of act but in the context - all of which is an extended metaphor on censorship itself. Breillat claims that the acts we find offensive in real life are also the acts we find offensive in images, an idea which in itself can lead to some self-awareness. But to Breillat, sexuality has become stereotyped in films. Show she wants to explore the boundaries and show that those boundaries, in themselves, are not good or bad, just as many acts, stereotyped as disgusting or wonderful, are not so in themselves but only in how we make them. The degree to which she achieves this in 'Romance' may be the subject of debate for a long time to come. I hope I get the chance to see and study some of her other films. I hope the film is not cut by the censors. As to whether it is a great movie, I am less sure (after a lot of discussion and thought I'm slightly more inclined to say it is than it isn't though!) As I am gradually convinced of the director's unshaking artistic integrity I am more willing to put in the effort to understand her rather complex thought. As her film is her principle expression of this thought I have ranked it quite highly - largely for what she attempts, with whatever success, than what she achieves. As Sartre pointed out, success is more in the journey than the achievement.

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