Among all the directors labelled "nouvelle vague",Claude Chabrol was arguably the one who had more affinities with the precedent generation so despised by a lot of his sixties colleagues.And the generation before Chabrol included the genius Henri-George Clouzot.So,to film "les diaboliques"'s director lost screenplay,Chabrol was ideal.Both he and Clouzot mix detective stories,social satire and psychological studies. "L'enfer" might be one of Chabrol's finest achievements.François Cluzet,in a lifetime performance,portrays a jealous man-recalling Bunuel's hero in "El'(1952)-,but his jealousy verges on madness.Little by little,with small touches,we see this maleficent obsession grow like a cancer,destroying everything,his wife's sincere love(well played by Emmanuelle Béart),his personality,his job.And see how Chabrol masters space.At the beginning,the action takes place in a wonderful lake setting.Then we do not get out of the hotel owned by Cluzet,with its dangerous corridors .And in the final sequences ,the director confines his two characters to a doctor office or their bedroom. Cluzet's madness and its inexorable progression are masterfully shown too.First,only some gestures,some voice inflexions.Then he begins to follow her everywhere .Then come the hallucinations:the amateur movie projected onto a small screen in the restaurant is the film's apex and should be part of a Chabrol anthology.Interior voices obsess the unfortunate hero,and every time he looks himself in a mirror,he sees an irrational world,this world he lives in,this world he believes in.No longer able to communicate with the normal one,he forces the other ones (his wife being first in line)to enter his.And we are not sure,at the end of the movie,that Béart is not on the other side of the mirror too.
Two private jokes: In the first sequence,Béart puts her hair in braids,and she resembles Vera Clouzot in "les diaboliques".When the young couple comes back to the restaurant after the wedding,the little accordion tune "les couleurs du temps" that you hear was written by Guy Béart,Emmanuelle's father a long time ago.
NB.Clouzot's version,which he began to film circa 1963,featured Romy Schneider and Serge Reggiani.(although the film was never completed,it has a page on IMDb)
Crime / Drama / Thriller
Crime / Drama / Thriller
Paul, an irritable and stressed-out hotel manager, begins to gradually develop paranoid delusions about his wife's infidelity. As he succumbs to green-eyed jealousy, his life starts to crumble. Each step on his downward spiral to madness seems to accelerate, driving him further along the path to a personal hell. Finally, the former shell of his personality cracks completely, with tragic consequences. —Tad Dibbern
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
July 16, 2021 at 11:46 PM