8 August 2008 | dbdumonteil
The four seasons
Based on the opera's libretto ,the screenplay suffers for it:as it is not sung,except for one song ,the story is sometimes hard to follow ,although it's very slow;for instance ,in the opera ,Rodolfo (Rodolphe) sings his pain when he learns that Mimi is terminally-ill:here he tells it to his friends much to the audience's surprise (for they hardly heard Mimi cough once before,and that's it).It was reportedly based on the novel which inspired the opera but the narration is not really satisfying anyway.
The story is divided into four parts:the four seasons,from Spring to Winter.
Spring introduces the characters:all are artists (painters,musicians,poets...) ,all are bound for glory ,these are the salad days ,the youth.C'est La Vie de Bohême,the bohemian life.The best scene shows Mimi and Rodolphe in Les Jardins Du Luxembourg ,the happiest part of their relationship.
Summer brings the Revolution,probably the 1848 one,although the movie remains extremely vague for that matter.Rodolphe ,the poet ,is very disappointed cause nobody wants to publish his lines.
Autumn (Fall) is the beginning of the bad days.The pals have nothing to burn in their fireplace "except themselves" .Mimi has left Rodolphe for she does not want to be a burden for him.
Winter :as the snow flies,the friends celebrate Christmas ;Mimi has become a supported woman;she's dying and she's still in love with Rodolphe.
Louis Jourdan,the most handsome French actor of the era, is the stand-out;Maria Denis who plays Mimi was nearing 30 at the time and was already too old for her part.Supporting cast includes such first-class thespians as Louis Salou and Suzy Delair.
Like this? try these.....
Three comrades (Frank Borzage)
Camille (George Cukor)
Louise (Abel Gance)