Tuesday, 3 December 2013

We Won't Grow Old Together [1972]

In We Won’t Grow Old Together, Pialat provided a detailed and captivating look into the final few months of a relationship that had already grown stale by the time the film begins, even though the couple is still very much in love with each other, albeit in their own ways. And this final and total disintegration was shown in a style that was rigorous, unflinching and unsentimental. Jean (Jean Yanne) is a gruff, possessive, irascible, brutish and domineering filmmaker in his 40s, and he is in a 6-year old extra-marital relationship with Catherine (Marlène Jobert), a soft, frail, fragile, emotional and directionless 24-year old girl; interestingly, his wife Françoise (Macha Méril) is aware of his affair and is still amiable to him even though their marriage, for all practical purposes, has been long over. Jean’s unpredictability, his sudden displays of boorishness and his non-committal nature have long alienated Catherine, and she is vocal about his intent to leave him; yet, she can’t seem to stay away from him for long and keeps returning despite his callous attitude towards her. However, only when she finally decides to move on for good, he realizes that he can’t live without her company – and so, by having pushed away the two women who have loved him, only to have realized too late, he’s ensured of his destiny to grow old alone and lonely. The serene-looking surface nicely encapsulated strong underlying emotions and provided a peek into a painful and scarring love. Yanne gave an excellent turn that was a less explosive variant of his abrasive role in Chabrol’s Que la Bête Meure, and with the capacity for remorse, regret and being nostalgic about fond memories.

Director: Maurice Pialat
Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama/Romantic Drama
Language: French
Country: France

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