duminică, 11 iunie 2017

Red Lights, based on a novel by Georges Simenon

Red Lights, based on a novel by Georges Simenon

A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:

Red Lights is a remarkable film.
Even if not much remarked upon.

It was nominated for only two prizes I mean:

-          The Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival
-          And Best Foreign Film at the Film Independent Spirits Festival

On the other hand, some critics have appreciated this lovely offering.

Jean-Pierre Darroussin is excellent in the leading role of Antoine.
It is not just a one man show, but it comes close.

Yes, Carole Bouquet is impressive in the role of Antoine’s wife.
And she has had a landmark presence in one of the best films ever made:

-          That Obscure Object of Desire, with Luis Bunuel as conductor

It is a real pity that the Gross Box Office in the USA was only $ 49, 251.
This proves that it is hard for audiences there to get interested in other propositions, coming from outside Hollywood

Antoine and his wife, Helene meet on a sunny afternoon.
He has had a drink.
They have to get on the road, to get their children back from a camp holiday.

For a good few minutes, it all appears to be a usual story, with ordinary people.
Until Antoine stops to get a drink.

And then another.
By this time, his wife is really upset about this drinking.

And it is indeed, not just illegal but somewhat inexplicable.
Antoine explains that a man under stress can have a drink…damn it!

He does not say damn, I guess.
But he is increasingly mad and obnoxious, to the point where his spouse is saying that she will not take this anymore.

When Antoine comes out of the second bar, his wife is gone.
The Rover is still there.

The man drives like crazy, with crazy speed and through:

-          Red Lights

I do not know if this is why the film has this name.
More likely, it refers to the constant and increasingly dangerous acts that Antoine commits, until he reaches a climax.

In the railway station, he does not catch Helene.           

-          What do you think he does then?
-          Obviously, he enters another bar

Antoine engages with a stranger and keeps talking, even if the man ignores him for quite some time until they separate.
Or so it seemed, for outside the place, the man on the run wants a ride in the car and our hero is happy to oblige.

Tension is building up and erupting into a conflict, as the state in which the drunk driver is prevents him from keeping safe.
The car veers dangerously off the road and the passenger is wild with anger at the man who nearly caused an accident.

I will only say that it gets ever more interesting and even funny, in an outré, strange manner- for instance when the hero has to make, I don’t know-57 calls?- to get the right address for a hospital where a patient is being cared for…

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