Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Sparse Story of Men in Prison (rated 4 stars)

by Jacques Becker

Jacques Becker’s final film, Le Trou is a sparse character portrait of men in a French prison who share a cell and plan on escaping. With no music and an understated precision to his direction, we gradually come to know each of the characters and their plan as Becker reveals the information that we need to know. The characters are quite complicated and the film resists the impulse to paint characters as good or bad, but is more concerned with portraying their humanity. The tension builds and we follow along with characters as we wonder if they will be successful. Becker was one of the French directors who preceded the Nouvelle Vague, but was admired by them for his portrayal of complex characters and French society.

No comments: