25 March 2016 | dbdumonteil
By a strange irony of fate .....
"Everything could have been anything else and it would have had just as much meaning";the quotation which opens the movie and is uttered later in the movie would have been written by Tennessee Williams although the movie has nothing to do with the great playwright's dramas atmosphere."It predates lots of modern movies based on the butterfly effect,as the precedent user relevantly points out .
Coming from Edouard Molinaro ,this is all the more amazing :utterly uncompromising,a long way from the French cinema of the seventies;ACtually,besides some commercial stuff such as " La Cage Aux Folles" "Quand Passent Les Faisans ""Le Telephone Rose" or "Pour Cent Briques T'as plus Rien" ,as far as some his movies are concerned ,a reevaluation of sorts has to be considered.
"L'Ironie Du Sort" (1974) is simply Molinaro's most remarkable movie since his brilliant adaptation of Simenon's "La Mort De Belle" (1960):simple twist of fate,Jean Dessailly is featured in both movies ,and he plays a teacher in both of them!He makes all his scenes count among a stellar cast :Pierre Clémenti,Claude Rich,Brigitte Fossey,Jacques Spiesser,Juliet Mills,Pierre Vaneck.....
The movie is not even included in the French "Dictionnaire Des Films" ,which is a crying shame when so many duds are mentioned !
Although the movie takes place in occupied France during WW2,it does not delude for long;the resistance fighters subject is almost only of passing interest ;it is a metaphysical work,which sometimes recalls Borges and his "Ficciones"(notably "EL Jardin De Santeros Que Se Bifurcan" ).A motor which does not start up and "everything becomes something else and it does have such as much meaning".
The things which occurred are filmed in color,the things which would have happened if fate would have had it ,are in black and white .The plots are interwoven till the end when the final pictures suggest us that what happened was perhaps not "our" reality .
Who,in his life ,has never stopped and wondered "and if THIS had not happened ,what would my life have been?"
I say it again ,this is a turning point in French cinema ,and unlike Resnais and Rivette ,it's thoroughly accessible to anyone!Although labeled "Nouvelle Vague" when he began his career,Molinaro was actually "classic ";before him,the whims of fate were approached by his colleague Julien Duvivier in his early fifties works ("Sous Le Ciel De Paris" (1950) and "La Fête A Henriette" (1952));Molinaro continued in that vein and managed to renew it.