Monday, 18 February 2013

The Collector (La Collectionneuse) [1967]

The Collector was the third entry and, assuming ‘1 hour duration’ as the minimum criterion, the first feature  in Rohmer’s acclaimed ‘Six Moral Tales’ series; it was also the slightest of the four. This dialogue-driven and light-hearted comedy is centered on Adrien (Patrick Bauchau), a young and morally uptight art dealer who is almost narcissistic in his obsession with his inner workings and philosophical disposition. While on a break one summer both from his work and his fiancée, he meets Haydee (Haydee Politoff), a cute and carefree young lady, at the villa he has put up in a quaint coastal village. The beautiful and alluring temptress, who sleeps with a different guy every night without so much as a second thought, is the collector of the title. Adrien, who prefers whiling his time swimming and reading books, forms the opinion that Haydee is physically attracted towards him and that it is completely dependent on him on whether or not to reciprocate, though, amusingly, that is hardly the case. Rohmer’s refreshing and understated exploration of the politics of love and lust, and the subtle interplay between morality and pleasure, was quite delightful to watch, and was reminiscent of the decidedly superior My Night at Maud’s and Claire’s Knee, and particularly Chloe in the Afternoon. His preference for verbose conversations might seem tad intrusive at times and the acting was also decent at best; but, on the whole, he managed to take the otherwise simple story to a satisfactory finale courtesy fine character dynamics and even certain amount of profundity at some level.

Director: Eric Rohmer
Genre: Comedy/Psychological Drama/Romantic Comedy
Language: French
Country: France


Sam Juliano said...

Once again you frame a Rohmer film with authority. It's been years since I saw this, but the examination of 'love and lust' was quite memorable.

Shubhajit said...

Thanks Sam. Yes, it was a light-hearted film, but delightfully Rohmer-esque nontheless.