Posted on 11/11/09 02:01 PM
Based on "New Wave" director Francois Truffaut's own troubled childhood, 'The 400 Blows' (made in 1959) is a coming-of-age tale about a 13 year old Parisian boy named Antoine (brilliantly portrayed by Jean-Pierre Leaud) who can not seem to do anything correctly. He is mischievous to a fault and rebels in school. This causes many arguments in the household, where Antoine's (unfaithful) parents only view him as a stubborn child without much depth.
I will only sound like a broken record since all of this has been said before, but the film was shot wonderfully. It was all very modern, unlike any movie that has preceded it. 'The 400 Blows' was almost Hitchcock- esque, in the sense that everything was shot rather smooth and interesting angles were used. One scene I loved in particular was in the end, when Antoine is running towards the ocean he has never seen. Running from a troubled past, to a place unbeknownst to him. It was all done so elegantly with ease. The camera never seemed to get in the way. It was as if we *the viewers* were watching Antoine's struggle beside him. Scene after scene, we got to see a new side of him. With no real plot, the films main focus was the heart and soul of Antoine Doinel. A boy who craves freedom, even if it means being completely and utterly alone to achieve it (as seen in the final shot... which I also adored).