Games of Love and Chance (L'Esquive) Reviews
January 24, 2013
I had several problems with the film L'Esquive. There were some good things about it, but there were some things I could not get past. All of the problems I had with this movie were because the point of the movie was to be real, but there were parts that were not realistic. The thing that bothered me the most was the incessant arguing. I have no problem with the fact that they were arguing, but the way it was done was wrong. I felt like either side in an argument were just throwing out words rather than actually responding to what the other person was saying. It became apparent during the argument between Lydia and Frida. I noticed it in the dispute between the shop owner and Lydia at the beginning of the movie as well. There were several other parts that this happened including the confrontation of Magali and Lydia's friends. There was no attempt at debate. It was just shouting, and it did not seem very real to me. The arguing was such a large part of the movie, yet to me, it was not done very well. I also think it lacked any emotional connection to the characters and the audience. It really never developed the relationships between any of the characters in the movie except Lydia, Nanou, and Frida. However, those three were constantly fighting so it was still difficult to interpret their relationship. The relationship between those three was one that they all looked out for each other. None of the other characters seemed like they were that close. It did not describe how they met or why they are friends, other than the fact that they look after one another, but it never explained why they chose each other to be friends, and not any of the other people. Therefore, the audience lacked a connection to the characters. As a viewer, I felt distanced from the people in the movie. I think many people would say it was boring because you, as a viewer, were not involved. I could have cared less about the outcome of the relationship between Krimo and Lydia. It accomplishes some good things in its cinema verité style, but it is poorly executed in the end.
August 22, 2012
A comedy? Really? Flat-out NO! This movie makes a serious point, that how we speak to one another makes all the difference in our lives; the difference between success and failure, the difference between easy relatedness and awkwardness, the difference between safety and violence, the difference between being locked-up (literally as well as emotionally) and being free.
LaCroix brilliantly contrasts the harsh argot of a present-day Parisian banlieue, with the artful, classical dialogue of Marivaux. And that scene with the police treating our beloved teens like serial killers? Those police are those same teens, only a few years older with adult responsibilities. What a revelation! Not to make too grand a generalization, but I now understand so much more about urban police than before.
Thank you to Abdellatif Kechiche and to everyone who contributed to this production. It was brilliant!