Tuesday, 10 January 2012
Watching Mouchette I couldn’t help but notice that this Robert Bresson gem has a number of similarities with his Au Hasard Balthazar – so much so that the two can almost be discussed in tandem. Not only was this also a minimalistic and emotionally challenging movie with religious undertones and powerful socio-cultural commentary and was shot in stark black-and-whites, its principal protagonist too is a deeply misunderstood and socially inept girl who digs a grave for herself through her own folly and misjudgement as regards to deciphering human nature. Interestingly, here too the girl suffers for getting close to, for the lack of a better word, the wrong guy. The movie’s titular character, played absolutely brilliantly and affectingly by Nadine Nortier, is a young lonesome girl whose job it seems is taking care of her ailing mother and her newborn brother. She is mistreated by her alcoholic father (who also happens to be a bootlegger), and has no friends at school. On one stormy night she makes acquaintance with a delinquent poacher, and what ensues makes the already marginalized girl’s life even more isolated. The movie’s portrayal of the complexity and absurdities that define human behaviour made it a truly profound, layered, quietly disturbing and deeply philosophical piece of work. And the sparse visuals made this downbeat story both lyrical and heartbreaking.
Director: Robert Bresson
Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama