Sunday, November 23, 2014
HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE ME? (2005)
Written & Directed By: Bertrand Biler
Cinematography By: Francoise Catonne
Editor: Marion Monestier
Cast: Monica Belucci, Bernard Campan, Gerard Depardieu
In Paris, after winning the lottery, the clerk François goes to a bar in Pigalle and offers one hundred thousand Euros per month to the prostitute Daniela to live with him until the end of his money. François is a lonely man, with heart problems and Daniela stays with him for eight days. Then, she decides to come back to her man, the mobster Charly, but she misses François and returns to his place. But once a whore, always a whore.
At first the film seemed like a jazz fused romantic story of passion, sensuality and love. A interesting analogy on the complexity of mind games and identity when it comes to relationships. Then all of a sudden it throws in so many curve balls, that the film constantly throws up off whether it's constantly changing it's mood from romantic and dramatic to comedy. It never stays consistent. Which I am usually a fan of but it goes too far at times and totally throws the film and audience off.
It's a French film and those films at times tend to be more dialogue based and this film could have easily been a play. That is how it plays like with psychological dramas and dialogue with many locations.
The last 20 minutes of the film get trippy. Where the films stops explaining things and expects you to come up with your interpretation of what is happening onscreen and how it ends.
This film just like Monica Bellucci's previous starring film MALENA. This film is like porn specifically for her audience, not with a bunch of hardcore sex scenes, but more overwhelming with how much and how often she is in screen and how many shots are dedicated to the camera just staying in her and show casing her beauty. The camera loves her and show her in all her beauty every curve, nook and cranny of her body. The film also gives her a sexy but constant seductress and maybe Femme-fatale and how she plays the role always makes you question her character and her actions constantly while desperately wanting to like her and believe her.
In fact she is the main reason I watched the film as she is a silver screen goddess in my eyes. Who never fails to get the pulse racing.
Watching Monica Bellucci over the years in films. She is like a fine wine as she gets older she gets richer and more tantalizing. Here some might say she is in her comfort zone or playing familiar, but seeing her role here it is familiar but she gives the character a new outlook and shows a different side to her Character and the types she usually plays. Here she doesn't necessarily have a heart of gold.
Gerard Depardieu has the harder role to play. As he is supposed to be dangerous as at times achieves it, but constantly comes off as more comedic then menacing, luckily he is not the romantic lead.
Again towards the end the tone of the film changes constantly and for no reason. It does the same in spots in the beginning also where you think it's camera tricks but the scene continues with a drastic change for the whole length. Towards the end it starts to play serious though with a screwball comedy pace.
The musical score Is also strange as it is more operatic which works in certain places but in other ones makes it seem more comedic or part of the joke. At least it always runs with the punches.
I actually was falling under the films spell for the first half of it. I liked the mind games and confusion of feelings. Then towards the end it started losing me and then after a few revelations it made me question all thy came earlier, and still offers no kind of answers.
The film is misogynistic in it's attitudes and display and seems at times as no more then a Middle Aged mans fantasy, though I eventually found the film oddly Romantic eventually.
It's a film that is hard to describe and best to let you watch it blind, see how it makes you feel and affects you.
It's a film that warrants discussion as it can be frustrating, but will leave you with a definite opinion and have an impression on you.