Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Green Ray

Le Rayon vert; Drama, France, 1986; D: Eric Rohmer, S: Marie Riviere, Beatrice Romand, Sylvie Richez, Eric Hamm

Summer. Secretary Delphine has divorced while one friend of her informs her that she won't join her for a Greece vacation, so the trip is canceled. Delphine is very shy and secluded, so everyone is persuading her to go to sea for a vacation anyway in order to enrich her romantic life. After a lot of staling, she goes to visit her relatives in Cherbourg, but since everyone is puzzled by the fact that she is a vegetarian, she leaves to Paris. She decides to give it another try and goes to the mountains, but returns home the same day. On the sea at Biarritz, she meets a Scandinavian woman who wants to match her with some men, but she runs away. Still, she finds the right one at the end; Jacques. At sunset, they observe the green ray.

Marie Riviere excellently played her character of Delphine and the story is subtle, but still this portrait of a shy woman in her 20s is somehow mediocre and empty. Director Eric Rohmer called this film "The Green Ray", by the novel of Jules Verne, aiming at the notion that a green ray can be seen for a moment during the sunset that will achieve the enlightenment: that idea isn't especially well connected with the sole story, yet it was solidly incorporated in the film. Filled both with dialogues and moments of silence, this is a good film about human relationships, but not so original to justify the won Golden Lion for best film. The author juggles with a few neat symbols, like in the scene where Delphine finds a Queen playing card on the street, but it's a pity that her romance with Jacques starts just a few minutes before the end of the film - that should have happened definitely sooner.


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