Friday, 3 January 2014

Loulou [1980]

The most popular way for examining social class divides has historically been through love stories, and with Loulou Pialat did exactly that. Using his trademark unsentimental tone, penetrative observations, depiction of irrational behavior in relationships, and downbeat realism, he concocted a simple but effective love triangle where he touched base upon such aspects as love, lust, jealousy, fidelity, spite, ego and so forth. And, in the process, he expanded the sphere by providing layered and unflinching commentary on the unavoidability of class and social hierarchies. The young, beautiful and self-sufficient Nelly (Isabelle Huppert) is slowly getting weary of her relationship with Andre (Guy Marchand), a well-to-do executive, on account of his possessive nature, deep insecurity, and proclivity towards irrational outbursts. When she makes the acquaintance of the titular Loulou (Gerard Depardieu), a hulking, womanizing and unemployed but essentially good-natured guy, she moves in with him on an impulse, and when confronted by her furious and confused former partner, she brazenly replies that he satisfies her more. Understandably, he finds it difficult to face defeat at the hands of a slob, while she, once the initial phase of lust wears out, starts questioning the prudence and long-term prospects of her decision. Huppert, with her ravishing looks, strong individuality, sensuousness and teasing smile, did full justice to her character – it was easy to see why two diametrically opposite men fell crazily in love with her. Pilat, in keeping with his penchant for emotional complexities and ambiguities, delivered a sharp take on urban relationships, and resorted to long takes, wordy script and a general sense of starkness and detachment, to seamlessly drive home his point.

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


Sam Juliano said...

Again you examine with scholarly heft the social issues that lie at the center of this exceptionally provocative work by an extraordinary artist.

Shubhajit said...

Thanks. Its really a shame that Pialat isn't as well-knowne as he ought to be.