Monday, 3 October 2011

The Last Metro [1980]

The Last Metro was the most overtly political work of Francois Truffaut – a surprise given his apolitical stance in most of his works. Set almost completely within a theatre-house in a fast-crumbling Parisian society during German occupation during WWII, the movie managed to provide an affecting look at what it was to survive in a climate of fear and persecution. In order to avoid Nazi pogroms, renowned Jewish director Lucas Steiner (Heinz Bennent) has taken refuge at the basement of his beloved theatre. In his physical absence, the theatre is run by his beautiful wife Marion (Catherine Deneuve). She is also an actress, and in their latest offering, she stars opposite Bernard (Gerard Depardieu), who is secretly a member of the Resistance. Tensions abound not just because surviving in such a socio-political climate was tough, what with having to keep Lucas’ presence a secret from the authority, but also in Marion’s being torn by her feelings for the two men. The movie abounds in irreverence in terms of its tone, feel and filming came at the expense of its emotional resonance, yet its theme of love at the times of war managed to add a streak of pathos to the plot. Personally though I wouldn’t place it anyway close to the Truffaut movies I’m most fond of. But that said, the performances of Deneuve and Bennant, and their terrific chemistry, did make it a movie worth watching.

Director: Francois Truffaut
Genre: Drama/War Drama/Romantic Drama
Language: French
Country: French

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