Friday, July 10, 2009

Jeux d'enfants

It is so “un” film-cool to prefer dubbing to sub-titles, and I am not that un-cool. I need the character’s voice to look like the character sounds, and vice versa. But I do not like subtitles and so often (always) choose not to watch a film with subtitles. Reason is simple...I cannot read text along the bottom of the screen and see all that is on the screen at the same time. I know the director and the cinematographer, crafted the shot...and I want to see it all...but I can’t while I read. If an actor makes the slightest eye roll that proves he’s lying, I missed it because I was reading.

Ok, so having said that, Jeux d'enfants was challenged with a bit (bit?) of prejudice from me from the start. None the less, I let its primary colors and near cartoonish (I mean that in the nice way) action carry me along. There is a type of film technique that when used draws attention to the fact that you are watching a film, not just eavesdropping on someone’s life. This film did that. I am inclined more to fourth-wall-cinema.

Initially drawn to Julien because of his defense of Sophie, I grew to like the two of them less because their “game” was always at the expense of another...the other’s clothes, garden, pet, wedding reception...whatever. Then as they grew up, the “game” was at the expense of the other, not another, but on each other with longer periods of time between episodes coinciding with the escalading of pranks. Finally, the only way they can be happy together forever is to become incapable of any more pranks, but in each other’s arms.

I see all the charm and cleverness and technique, and offer respect to them as well.

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