May 25, 2012
Le Mariage À Troi
La Mariage À Troi (3 Way Wedding) is a deceptively simple film about the complex sexual and romantic relationships that people fall into. It is one of many films which will be shown for free at Citi-Rustan's French Film Festival at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza in Mandaluyong City from June 7 to 18, 2012. Oscar award winning film (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor) The Artist will be the opening and closing film of the fest.
Also part of the French Film Festival, which will coincide with the celebration of Philippine Independence on June 12, are the works of top Pinoy Indie filmmakers. Brillante Mendoza's latest masterpiece, Captive starring Isabel Huppert and Angel Aquino will be screened by invitation only.
Raya Martin and Adolf Alix's Manila starring Piolo Pascual, Aureus Solito's Busong with Alessandra De Rossi and Ralston Jover's Bakal Boys will be screened for free. Because of the popularity of the fest and the large number of audiences it attracts, make sure to go to Shang Cineplex at least an hour in advance. Free tickets are subject to the maximum capacity of the theaters and are given on a first come first served basis.
La Mariage À Troi opens on the bed of a naked couple at the break of dawn. Harriet (Julie Depardieu), a pert blonde, kisses a bald man Auguste (Pascal Greggory) to wake him up. He kisses her back but stops out of exasperation. When his eyes open he asks her, "How many times have you come here? You must free this house of your presence." Later in the morning Harriet returns with her producer Stephane (Louis-Do de Lencquesaing) and cast mate Theo (Louis Garrel). Auguste and Harriet pretend it's her first time in the chalet. After pleasantries, she says out loud to him, "What you write makes us alive." He whispers to her ear when no one else is looking, "You came here twice, miserable isn't it and painful. You and me, we transcend painful."
On a quaint chalet beside a river overlooking a green forest, cast members of an unfinished play converge to finalize casting and rehearse lines. Nothing is a simple in a French film. Steamy sex scenes between Harriet, a pert young blonde as lead actress, and the bald, wrinkled but fit Auguste seems unpalatable at first. That is until you realize the context of their relationship. Harriet is the ex wife of Auguste, neither of them can seem to really let go of their 'lust' for each other. Both of them have their own motives in their continued dalliances.
As the movie goes on, you realize why and how Auguste is attractive. He is a brilliant playwright who is as eloquent in the spoken word as he is in the written form. Pascal Greggory easily inhabits that persona of an irresistible 'beautiful mind.' Perhaps the role is partly autobiographical for writer director Jacques Doillon who has won awards at the Venice, Berlin and Cannes fests. One of which is the France Culture Award at Cannes for his 2003 film Raja.
Harriet isn't the typical actress using her body to get what she wants. She knows how Auguste thinks and feels using that to her advantage. Julie Depardieu who plays her has transcended her illustrious parents' name (Gerard and Elisabeth Depardieu). Julie has won two Cesar awards. She is able to play the temptress role very convincingly manipulating the men in her life at will. She also seduces a young red head Fanny (Agathe Bonitzer) to suit her own purpose.
The film seems almost like a stage play, shot in one location relying on dialogue to push the story forward. One could easily stage the film to a play if desired. You only need a cast as skillful and magnetic to draw audiences in. La Mariage À Troi is definitely sexier than Roman Polanski's Carnage (Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, Cristoph Waltz and John C. Reilly), which was based on a successful play.
In this film women are the ones who are making the real choices. Fanny even though she seems young and naïve, has a clear idea of what is sexually attractive to her. She repeatedly rejects the advances of the young actor Theo (Louis Garrel) even if he is far more physically attractive than Auguste. She says to Theo, "I see you as a girl. I like women and girls unlike you." The characters and dialogue are bitingly real because people really are complex in their emotions and relationships.