Sunday, March 05, 2006

Amazing Melodrama

by Arnaud Desplechin

I didn’t exactly know what to expect with Kings & Queen, but all the reviews I read were positive. By the time I saw it, I had forgotten the details of the reviews and went into the film fairly cold. I’m glad that I did, but even after seeing it once, there is so much going on that it will be a film that I watch a few more times. Arnaud Desplechin makes 2 1/2 hours fly by as we follow a woman and her former lover through a series of events with flashbacks thrown in to provide context. The film is almost evenly divided between the two chacters with one more melodramatic and the other more comedic. There is a wonderful tension in the film between what we think about the characters and the events, and what we see. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a film that is at the same time so experimental and conventional at the same time. It creeps up on you and then forces you to rethink what you’ve seen. The style isn’t showy, but it changes to fit the material and the mood of the scenes and the events. The ideas and characters from this film will be rolling around in my head for days.

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