Pleasure Party (1975)

Not Rated   |    |  Drama

Pleasure Party (1975) Poster

Phillipe and Esther live an apparently idyllic life with their daughter, Elise. In an attempt to preserve this bliss, Phillipe decides that he and Esther should each have affairs, being ... See full summary »


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31 March 2008 | The_Void
| Dark and nightmarish tale of married life...
Pleasure Party is yet another offering from the great Claude Chabrol that puts it's central focus on the director's all time favourite subject; that being infidelity. The director has explored this topic previously in films such as The Unfaithful Wife and Wedding in Blood (among others), but Pleasure Party stands out because it's an overall much darker tale than what went before, and may well be a contender for Chabrol's all time darkest film. The film really is not much fun at all to watch, but I would liken it to a car crash - the similarity being the fact that it's difficult to take your eyes off what you're seeing, despite perhaps wanting to. The plot focuses on married couple Philippe and Esther who live with their young daughter Elise. After an awkward conversation one day in which Philippe admits infidelity, it is decided (mostly from his side) that they should see other people as well as each other. It's not long before this plan backfires in spectacular fashion as Ester meets Habib and Phillipe becomes very jealous of their relationship...

Despite the ugly plot, in typical Chabrol fashion; the film is very nice to look at, which offsets the tone of the film nicely. The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous and as ever, the director pulls good performances out of all his lead performers. Paul Gégauff may not quite have the screen presence of Jean Yanne or Michel Bouquet, but the character fits him like a glove and I really cant see anyone else in the role. His wife, Danièle Gegauff, plays second fiddle somewhat to her co-star, but also puts in a very good and believable performance. The film really all centres on the leading man, which isn't surprising since the actor is also the scriptwriter. Everything about the story flows from his character and the film is actually more about his ego and need to control his wife than it is about infidelity. The film does not feature shocks and thrills - rather it is a continual and intense grinding down of the audience as we witness the lead character self destruct, become a shadow of himself, and take down everyone around him. Pleasure Party is not one of Chabrol's best films; but it's an undoubtedly interesting movie from one of France's premier film directors.

Critic Reviews


Release Date:

15 January 1975



Country of Origin

France, Italy

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