Sunday 29 June 2008

Last Tango in Paris [1972]

Sexuality, repressed and otherwise, has been the central theme in most of the renowned (and I daresay, controversial) Italian maestro Barnardo Bertolucci’s movies. And it is nowhere better expressed, or for that matter more graphically depicted, than in The Last Tango in Paris, which ranks along with The Conformist as his two most famous works. A complex examination of the relationship between two distinctly different individuals united by chance as well as convenience, the movie boasts of fine performances by its two leads – a world-weary middle-aged American globetrotter who has recently lost his wife (in the champion hands of the great Marlon Brando, the role has attained a surreal, philosophical level), and a young French lady tired of her superficial relationship with her eccentric fiancé. Thanks to the director’s sensitive treatment and evocative photography, even the graphic nudity and strong sexual content seems simultaneously mundane and artistic. At the end of the day, the various parts of this deeply philosophical movie have added up to produce a marvelous deconstruction of the human psyche, the conflict between physical attachment and spiritual detachment, and the various paradoxes that define existence.

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
Genre: Drama/Erotic Drama/Psychological Drama
Language: French/English
Country: France


1minutefilmreview said...

We did not like this. It meandered too much, with much ado about nothing, except when the controversial 'back-door' scenes were on. We were jolted upright then. But after that, it was back to the dreary love till you're suffering story.

And Brando (we still think he's the coolest) mumbled his way in the film like a horse with a mouthful of hay. We couldn't make head or tail of what he was saying most of the time. Unfortunately we got a copy without subtitles. :)

Shubhajit said...

Unfortunately pal couldn't disagree more with you. Yes, i agree the plot meandered a lot, and Brando too mumbled his fair share. But, both are integral part of the film - in terms of the philosophy propounded and the character sketch of the protagonist, respectively.

i urge you to have a second viewing (with subtitles). Hopefully your views on the movie will become a bit more favourable than it is now.