Even though I'm one of Jean-Luc Godard's biggest fans, for me it's easy to say that, "La Chinoise" is one of his most pretentious and boring films. While many of his artistic sensibilities are still on display, and on many instances the film itself looks like a work of art, it often, if not always make the film worse. Using paint for blood, and pop art letters for film "parts" usually is charming, but here it's tiring.
His goal is to make a social satire, and it's obvious that he was a strong supporter of Maoism, and honestly, it's infuriating. It's not necessarily offensive, but the film often instead feels like a self-pleasing, semi-documentary, and by the forty-five minute mark it's almost too much to stand. I love his films, especially "Pierrot le Fou" and "Alphaville", but "La Chinoise", often marked as the beginning of his "film essays" just isn't anything great.
We follow three philosophy students, Veronique (Anne Wiazemsky), Yvonne (Juliet Berto), and Guillame (Jean-Pierre Leaud), who all support the Maoism cause, having daily meetings. But even with their day to day examinations of the cause, it becomes more and more clear that everyone involved truly doesn't understand what they're advocating.
Maybe it's supposed to be funny, but "La Chinoise" fails on many levels. All of the actors are wooden, doing nothing but appearing as fixtures and acting as the guinea pigs of weird camera angles and odd lines. In his early days, Godard experimented with bits and pieces of "pop art" like this, but then it was charming and interesting. This film acts as those bits and pieces as one film, and that's its downfall.
"La Chinoise" is uninteresting, pretentious, and cloying. Godard hasn't made many bad films, but this is one of them.