Eroticism is nothing new in European cinema, and the French made it a fine art long ago. It is in this long line of erotic tradition that the celebrated French auteur, Francois Ozon, has come out with his first image of a soon-to-hit-theatres thriller, Amant Double. Starring Jeremie Renier and Marine Vacth, the movie plot may not be exactly high on novelty, but has a strong thrill element.
Model-turned-actor Vacth is a delicate, young woman who falls head over heals in love with psychoanalyst Paul, played by Renier. They begin to live together, after she moves in with him, but soon stumbles upon a secret about his identity.
The photograph which Ozon posted on his Twitter account the other day shows Vacth and Renier sitting in the buff in what seems like a therapy session. Now that is quite a sensation. Imagine a psychoanalyst and his beautiful client deciding to strip themselves of their clothes -- in what possibly could be an effort to rip themselves of their veneer of pretence and artifice or maybe even deceit and lies. Who knows!
For Vacth, this is her second cinematic outing with Ozon. In fact, she debuted with him in Young and Beautiful (2013) - where she essays a prostitute. Out on a family holiday, 17-year-old Isabelle (Vacth) is desperate to lose her virginity and she does to a young boy. But finding her first tryst with sex unsatisfying, she begins a dating service and becomes a call girl. However, during one such meeting with an elderly man, whom she had begun to like, tragedy strikes. He dies in bed, and Isabelle finds that she has to struggle with her guilt till she meets his widow.
Even more exciting was Ozon’s 2003 Swimming Pool that had a great cast of Charlotte Rampling and Ludivine Sagnier. A hauntingly beautiful story about a writer (Rampling) with a writer’s block who is sent by her publisher to a picturesque French countryside to refresh herself. And in that idyllic villa, the publisher’s young daughter (Sagnier) trespasses and makes her comfortable - strutting about nude and inviting her hunky boyfriends to have loud sex that irritates and disturbs the older woman.
Swimming Pool in English had a theatrical opening in India after its Cannes premiere, but was mauled so badly by Indian censors (and mind you this was long before Pahlaj Nihalani came on the scene) that the film looked as dry as the Sahara desert.
Last year, Ozon’s World War I drama, Frantz, in black and white proved a great hit at Venice. The Yves Saint Laurent star, Pierre Niney, plays a disturbed French soldier, Adrien -- who journeys to a provincial German town -- which is still extremely hostile to the Allies -- to lay flowers on the grave of a 24-year-old soldier, Frantz. A German, he had died in the trenches fighting French forces.
Adrien’s presence perplexes Frantz’s grieving fiance, Anna, (German newcomer Paula Beer) and also gets the whole town, unable to get over German defeat and casualties in the war, angered. Franz turns out to be a sentimental love story about Adrien and Anna, and how they pass through a set of lies and deceits.
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