2 June 2005 | jotix100
Zeus loved Leda and came to her in the form of a swan.....
Armand Deplechin's "Rois et Reine" offers a lot of different ideas, plots and subplots. Unfortunately, most of them aren't as fully realized as in his other, better made films. Then, the copy that is showing at New York's Lincoln Plaza complex, has a washed out look to it, and the subtitles aren't visible at times. The viewer has to strain the eyes in order to get all what's going on in this complex tale. This is a big problem for foreign films with subtitles that seem to fade in the picture itself. Also, at the session we went there was an annoying group of ladies who, evidently, must have been watching another film, as they kept laughing at times when they should have remained silent.
At any rate, this is a complex film that seems to have a lot of influences, mainly mythological and even it has shades of Shakespeare's King Lear. At two hours and forty minutes in length, the film could have used some badly needed trimming. It appears M. Desplechin don't know when to cut some of the things one sees in different sequences that could have been helped with the principle that "less is more".
One thing the director can't be blamed for is the wonderful performances he gets from all his actors, especially, the luminous Emmanuelle Devos, who does an amazing work portraying Nora, the woman at the center of the story. Also good, Mathieu Amalric, who is Ismael, the man that connects a lot of different points to the story. Maurice Garrel, as Nora's dying father is compelling. Valentin Legong as little Elias is also a great asset.
Let's hope M. Desplechin new venture will be a bit tighter in his future work.