“I’ve fought in Algiers. I’ve been a policeman for 20 years. And I can tell you one thing: we’ve gone mad.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Caron nicely portrays Anne’s determination to live life on her own terms — and it’s a pleasant surprise to see her, fairly early on, deciding to leave her new lover behind when he expresses ambivalence over actually making the journey they’ve fantasized about for so long.
The two quickly reunite, however, and the bulk of the film simply follows them — and “third wheel” Bruno — as they journey south, then back to Paris again, all while hearing news about the strikes and student uprisings that began just as they left town. While it’s somewhat interesting to gain a time capsule perspective on this tumultuous era in French history, the film itself unfortunately loses its sense of direction as the strikes take over the narrative; Kurys’ attempt to show parallels between Anne’s newfound sense of freedom and the struggles of a nation to revolt against an “old morality” come across as a bit heavy-handed, especially as the trio encounter a series of characters (i.e., a truck driver, a policeman) who conveniently represent various “voices” and perspectives on current events. Left sadly unexplored is the muted love triangle between Anne, Frederic, and Bruno; their complex dynamics together — especially given Cluzet’s wistful, sensitive performance as Bruno — could have provided a much more interesting narrative trajectory.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: