Wednesday, August 16, 2006

La Moustache

Himself and I are pretty much always up for a movie, unless of course we've ordered it from Netflix, in which case it will sit next to the television for months since neither of us is up for The Sea Inside (I know, I know, it's a wonderful film but he is a quadriplegic and the whole idea make us both just so sad) or The True Meaning of Pictures: Shelby Lee Adams' Apalachia (again, uplifting, I know, poverty and hard times, worth watching, I KNOW so stop staring at me like I'm a snob). See, these are winter movies and I'm returning them today, for sure, so we can get something more uplifting from our queue. So, within the next few days we should get The Wedding Crashers, A Very Long Engagement and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. And we WILL watch them within the week.

So, when Himself asked me to the movies a few days ago, I was up for a movie. I checked out the closest Laemmle since there's always a film playing there that I want to see and I decided that this particular French flick sounded perfect. It couldn't have sounded more perfect with words like Kafkaesque and Hitchcock bandied about in the same rave review. So we went to see La Moustache. Haven't seen it yet? Don't worry, it will be available at Netflix within the week, I'm sure. These are the reviews that had me almost running to the cinema in excitement:

  • A paranoid thriller in the manner of Alfred Hitchcock (Chicago Sun Times)
  • A feast of sustained tension (Variety)
  • A mini masterwork (Village Voice)
  • Hitchcockian (New York Times)
Couldn't get there fast enough...and then I wasn't thrilled, tense or weirded out in a Hitchcockian manner. Not one time. Not ever. And a mini masterwork? Who are these reviewers?

Here's the Wikipedia synopsis.


'La Moustache' opens with Marc Thiriez, a middle aged Parisian, asking his wife if he should shave off the moustache he has sported for most of his adult life. His wife, Agnes, wryly comments that she wouldn't recognize his without it, yet as she leaves Marc shaves the moustache off. Upon her return, Marc asks his wife if she notices anything. She does not respond. A day passes and he then asks his wife is she has noticed that he has shaved off his moustache. She tells him that he hasn't had a moustache in years. What follows is a moment of catharsis-Marc is told that his father is dead, that his best friends do not exist, and he soon learns that his wife wants to have him institutionalized. In a moment of panic, Marc flees the country and travels to Hong Kong.

The movie's resolution is unclear, as is the movie itself. La Moustache captures an element of suspense, though the actions and plot are ambiguous. Many critics have said that the film's events are not literal, but metaphorical and are symbolic of Marc's loss of identity (of a possible Mid-life crisis).

I'm not a complete dolt, but when the actions AND the plot are ambiguous, well, it's hard to sit on the edge of one's seat. And Himself didn't mind going back for a refill on the bathtub-sized tub of popcorn in the middle of an 'exciting' scene. That's how exciting it was.


Blogger junebee said...

I used to love foreign movies when I was in college.

I'm trying to get up the nerve to get "Taeguki" which is a Korean movie about war but I read a review that it's fairly graphic and I'm a weenie when it comes to blood and guts!

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Betsy Milligan said...

You are nuts to have bypassed The Sea Inside.
But I've told you that before. xxxB

3:33 PM  

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