Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Dreamers (2003)

Note: This review was originally posted on Bridge To Better Days. I am reposting it here for archival purposes. It has been backdated to the date of its original posting.

Awesome film that doesn't demean its brilliance just because of the sexual nature of its plot. This is basically a story about the 60's, except it's not California - it's Paris, France, and it occurs during the 1968 riots in Paris. You can look it up if you want more historical context, but I didn't know what the riots were about, and it didn't much matter, because the brunt of the story focuses on three characters who are pretty much oblivious to what's going on out in the streets outside their house, until the point at which they can no longer ignore it.

But the spirit of the sixties is here in full swing. Peace, protest, and free love are all in there. And the absolutely amazing soundtrack centers on some scorching sections from Jimi Hendrix and Big Brother & The Holding Company (with Janis Joplin, of course), with even a Doors tune thrown in. There's even a pivotal scene where one character sings a line from Hey Joe, as the song plays on the record player.

But what's the story about? Well, it's a personal story about three young college-age people. An American student/cinema buff meets up with a pair of French twins (brother/sister) who share a lot of the same interests. They get real close real fast, and when the parents leave on a trip, the three of them live it out in the apartment, loose and free. There's some tension, because the twins are "joined at the hip", as they say (no, not literally), and the American student understands that they need to grow up and mature and the only way to do that is to split them apart, so they can learn to have some individuality or something. It's complicated. But that's where the drama comes in.

Great movie. There's even a scene where the two guys argue about whether Clapton or Hendrix is better. There's also a lot of talk about classic cinema, as the characters are all cinema buffs, and the director himself (Bernardo Bertolucci) is a cinema buff who was there in Paris during the riots depicted in this film, and a part of the real cinema scene that the characters in the film are a part of.

I love it because this film is high quality and sexually liberated. There's a great scene where the guy and girl have sex on the kitchen floor, for the first time, and the other guy (the brother) is making eggs on the stove, casually. It's all very real. The characters spend a good amount of time all or partly naked, too, and sometimes it's sexual, and sometimes it's not - which is what real life should be like.

I recommend this movie highly, if any of what I discussed here interests you.

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