20 July 2011 | dbdumonteil
It was the first time playwright Anouilh had made a movie.He was blamed for the stagy directing but when you deal with actors such as FResnay ,Pierre Renoir ,Louis Salou,the problem is really minimal.
Gaston is a WW1 amnesiac .A wealthy family claims that he is one of them ,so he is taken to their desirable mansion so he will be able to remember his past .
Little by little,he is told his "past" and he discovers that the person he was, was mean,despicable and incapable of loving.The present is not rosy either: a bourgeois family , unsympathetic characters beneath a smiling exterior ,who tells you who to salute and who to avoid.
Those who blamed Anouilh for his "stagy" directing should note that there is a superb memory lane sequence : a mass in the church ,where everybody seems to spy on the newcomer and where hypocrisy reigns and a walk with the girl he used to love in the street of the village .The girl who married his brother when she thought he was forever lost tries to rekindle the flame of love ,but did it ever exist? like Antigone ,in another famous Anouihl's play,the amnesiac refuses the poor human happiness;unlike her,he will not have to sacrifice his life ,but to find another way to carry on.