The chinese puzzle of french love
Original Title: Casse-tête chinois
English Title: Chinese puzzle
Director: Cédric Klapisch
I dont know if it was the best option to see Casse-tête chinois without seeing the first other two films of the trilogy by Cédric Klapisch. They begin with the story of the life of friends who knew each other when they were students in an exchange program in Barcelona in L’auberge espagnole. Then in their thirties, in different cities in the film Les poupées russes, and now with this last film that shows how they continue to grow together twenty years layers, with New York as a destination.
Several things caught my attention to see this film. Maybe it was the appealing of Romain Duris et Audrey Tautou together, since they have such a great chemistry on stage. For me it’s effortless, like friends that know each other for a life-time.
Also, because this particular film was exposed in all French media with a great expectation. My impression is that french people see these characters as part of their lives, as they got to know them when they were young adults and now, where reality, family and work hit life, and they have different kind of decisions to make, as they’re forty.
So I was expecting kind of a lot. And I found a good film, but not a great one.
Funny and easy to watch, but not deep enough. Maybe, once again, I had big expectations. The story, even if simple, has little details that make it charming and are very interesting about family relations, life between different cultures, the problem of dealing with administrative affairs when you’re an expatriate, among others.
So as a comedy, it fails: the lazy and helpless lawyer has weak jokes, the fake marriage, the hero part, it just doesn’t do it for me.
As a drama, too: the conflicts between ex couples are superficial, Isabelle’s affair seems to be more in the comedy category.
Romantic comedy? Why not: the last scene seems to resume what we’re waiting for, even if we didn’t know it. We don’t know what’s really what the character is looking for, and it bothers me. It’s not clear for us, so when at the ends, everything seems to work out just fine, to me sounds like the easy way out. Like it was so smooth that’s like an irresponsible decision. And how are they really goin’ to live? There are so many thing happening in this film that being auto conclusive takes a big part here.
New York has such an important role and I dig it. J’adore how french admire/critique, in an obsessive way, the american culture, it’s like they can live without it. Such differences, make the film work so good, but I’d say it was a little exaggerated to become NY the new place to live.
They’re in their forties, as they keep remembering in the film, so I think that this should be a more thoughtful response.
Or maybe it’s me that had the chinese puzzle from waiting too much reality from a french film about love.