Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Moustache

The Moustache
Original Title:
La Moustache

Directed by: Emmanuel Carrère, France, 2005
Drama / Mystery, 86min.
Distributed by: Triangel Film

One evening Marc Vincent Lindon] asks his wife Angès [Emmanuelle Devos] if he should shave off his moustache. Against her advice he does so anyhow. When nobody in his closest circle notice that he’s shaven it off he starts to get frustrated, but when Agnès claims that he has never had a moustache his world starts to crumble.

What a promising movie this turned out to be. My wife has talked about it for quite some time, so we decided to give it a shot, and I’m not disappointed. Ok, somewhat disappointed because the movie losses itself in the latter part. But the build up to this last twenty minutes are brilliant. The basic idea of a guy shaving off his moustache and then having nobody notice, and finally claim that he never had one is brilliant. The way Carrère plays through this is very smart; small subtle changes in the relationship between Marc and Agnès, the way we keep loosing track of Marc’s sanity, the questioning of everything that we see and hear, it’s very effective and you constantly keep asking yourself is Marc really insane or is it his wife playing a really evil prank on him. The deeper in we get the more Kafka-esque the movie gets. We see what Marc sees images of him with his moustache, but then we start to believe that he’s insane again when Agnès claims that his evidence, the photographs of a moustache clad Marc taken when they where in Bali, don’t exist, they have never been to Bali. Small details like Marc’s father on the answering machine planning the meal for tomorrows get together, which if flipped over when Agnès explains to Marc that his father died a year ago. Great stuff and we are just as confused about what’s going on as Marc. When the penny falls down and Marc makes his escape the movie like I mentioned earlier, just gets lost in itself. The Hong Kong bit works until Agnès all of a sudden turns up and life goes on as if nothing ever happened. Nah, it just gets stupid from here and director Carrère’s explanation that it’s all a cyclic movement is just a load of bollocks. We are so accustomed to non-linear narrative in these days that we don’t even question the Hong Kong footage from the opening sequence, as we understand that this is Hong Kong the second Marc escapes there. We just assume that the story will continue from here and all before was leading us here, So to bring Agnès in here just annoyed me, especially as my theory is that she’s trying to dump Marc for his co-worker Bruno to start with, that’s why they are all in on the tormenting of Marc. Because the idea that it was all Marc and that he was temporarily insane and now mysteriously sane again as Agnès comes back into his life is just too shallow for me to accept. But up to this part the movie really rocks and is very effective. I have no better solution to the ending, but I can’t help felling let down when the movie ends even if there is a open question mark at the end or not.

Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Anamorphic.

French Dolby Digital 5.1. Optional subtitles in Swedish or Finnish


A twenty minute making of where the cast and crew talk about the movie and what it means. An interview with Director Emmanuel Carrère and Editor Camille Cotte. The making of is decent, but the interview with Carrère and Cotte is so fucking pretentious that it almost made me want to put my foot through the TV screen, which is a pity as I quite enjoyed the film.

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