6 August 2007 | ThurstonHunger
The Moth Effect?
With an antagonizing protagonist who is as doomed as the plane trees in the film...this film could be seen as strictly nihilistic. I recently watched "SherryBaby" and strongly preferred this film which I watched a week prior, and yet I still find myself pondering Sandrine Bonnaire's portrayal of a woman who is stranded.
Indeed "No one makes it alone" could better be the tag line here, and Bonnaire's Mona goes on an odyssey that is nothing short of harrowing. Also trading heroin chic for (self-imposed?) homeless bleak pushed us into less charted filmic waters. Choosing an unknown for the title role was also a good call I suspect. The film is now older than it's lead actress was at the time.
So much of the film talks about how Mona stinks, perhaps smell-a-vision would have helped ;> Honestly her face is still too attractive, although wide and maybe manly in a way, that for me the sense of her scent didn't wash. That being said, her disaffection was on display so well, that you could see her as having a dirty soul. At nearly every chance of being likable she veers to the other direction, the one notable exception for me being her interaction with the "platonologne" (is that like octogenarian, don't know the French...the characters all had interesting descriptions in the credits)..
Additionally, from the English subtitles and snatches of French, I sense the dialog (should I say dialogue) in this was quite cutting and clever in parts.
While Mona lives without roof or law, while she may move without purpose or direction, she is more than a human tumbleweed. She does not live without leaving a trace...but the filmmaker keeps us intentionally distant from her, we are never allowed inside her mental tent. Thus our composite sketch of her is as complex and contradictory as the people she encounters. Not only does Mona live without control over her life, her death as well eludes her.
Viewers may find it less easy to escape.
Thurston Hunger 7/10