Sunday 3 February 2013

The Aviator's Wife [1981]

Nearly a decade after he completed his hugely acclaimed series ‘Six Moral Tales’, Rohmer embarked on another memorable journey with ‘Comedies & Proverbs’. The Aviator’s Wife was the first in the six-film series of delectable and light-hearted romantic comedies based on proverbs. Here we find Francois (Philippe Marlaud), a young student who works part-time as a postman, in a relationship with an older woman named Anne (Marie Riviere). Unfortunately for him, while he’s head over heels in love with her, she doesn’t feel so passionately about him. Further, his possessive nature is at direct odds with her independent mindedness. When, one day, she spots a man leaving her place, who, as he eventually learns from her, was her former lover who now decided to return to his wife, Francoise, for no particular reason, starts following him through the streets of Paris for an entire day. While doing so he befriends the cute and vivacious 15-year old girl Lucie (Anne-Laure Meury) who becomes intrigued by his story and joins him in his rather meaningless pursuit. The way the two obsessively follow the man, and make conjectures about his life, motives and female companion, made for subtly comedic moments and an enjoyable watch. Francoise’s conversations with the two female characters – one serious and emotional, and the other freewheeling and breezy – too added to the film’s charm. Nicely enacted by the three principal actors and comprising of a simple but engaging script, the obsessive search of Francois concluded with a moment of realization which suddenly added certain profundity at the very end in this verbose, simple-natured and quintessentially Rohmer-esque exercise.

Director: Eric Rohmer
Genre: Comedy/Romantic Comedy/Urban Comedy/Comedy of Manners
Language: French
Country: France


Sam Juliano said...

Yes, a memorable work and yet another in your peerless Rohmer review series.

Shubhajit said...

There was a long gap since the last Rohmer I'd watched. So, all of a sudden, I felt the desire to come back to the ones I'd yet to see. Expect a few more Rohmer reviews in the near future.