9 September 2010 | dbdumonteil
Characters in search of an author.
This movie is a true delight for Moliere's fans.A good knowledge of his plays is useful but the screenplay is strong enough to grab someone who is not particularly interested in them.The story is essentially based on "Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme" (aka "the middle class gentleman" ) and "Tartuffe" with elements borrowed from "Le Misanthrope" ,"Les Femmes Savantes" ,"L'Avare " and "Les Fourberies De Scapin" .Now the lines are directly taken from the writer ,now they are written in his style .Each character represents two or three other characters:the wonderful Fabrice Lucchini is Monsieur Jourdain and Orgon,Romain Duris is Molière and Tartuffe ,Laura Morante is Elmire and Madame Jourdain and the excellent Edouard Baer ,Dorante ,Alceste and some kind of "Grand Turc" .
Agatha Christie disappeared when her husband left her and as nobody knew what she did in those days they made a movie about it in the late seventies ("Agatha" ,Michael Apted).So why not Molière?In France ,some critics such as the reliable Claude Bouliq Mercier slagged off Tirard's movie ,proving that they can be prodigious snobs themselves sometimes;of course they spoke in the name of culture,of art ,of Molière -who -was one-more-time-betrayed ,they do not have any sense of humor.
Molière meeting his famous characters before writing his plays (after all they were inspired by the society he lived in) is pure fiction,and should not be taken too seriously:hence the failure with the French intellectual audience who praises to the skies any sequence of Woody Allen's films .I remember a teacher who could captivate his class with "Le Misanthrope" .He often made us laugh .I remembered him when I was watching"Molière" ,particularly the so-called "scene des Petits Marquis " updated by Celimène/Dorimène .Thank you,Mr Tirard.
NB :should not be mistaken for Ariane Mnouchkine's eponymous work (1978)