Lost illusions is for many critics, the best Balzac's novel and the adaptation that Xavier Giannoli (the director) delivers is not only fairly pleasant, dynamic and very well interpreted, it also has a special resonance in our world controled by social networks, search for buzz, influencers, fake news and a few rich media owners.
However, the story seems quite far from our world as it takes place in the first part of the 19th century (around 1820-1830) during the period of "Restauration", when monarchy came back to power in France but also when the liberals were pushing for changing the regime or at least experimenting new liberties such as parliamentarism and freedom of the press.
Lucien de Rubempré is this young man full of dreams who comes from the French country side eager to live from his literary talents, driven by his forbidden love to a rich aristocrat . Sent away to Paris, little by little Lucien will lose his illusions to discover a world full of greed, machiavellianism and dishonesty.
Xavier Giannoli tackles lots of topics in what we understand is a very rich novel. One of the topic is the transformation of literature into merchandise. The depiction of the book publishers is machiavellian. The depiction of a new kind of journalism based on sensacional news is quite shocking. In fact, Xavier Giannoli doesn't make a plea for journalists, on the contrary, he even tries to discredit them and presents them as filthy people, greedy for money. It's sometimes a little bit too much but we understand that the new liberties conceded by the government back in those days have a repercussion on different fields of the society and we also understand it concerns a certain type of journalism and not all journalisms. However the resonence in our 21st century world is quite obvious concerning the search of buzz.
We clearly understand that what the director wants to make us some winks thoughout his film, winks that the attentive spectator cannot miss. There is notably the explanation of how the buzz is created among the press, but also how the media (for the time, mainly newspapers) are controlled and owned by rich entrepreneurs or by the big bosses of advertising agencies and how these influencers of the 19th century try to invade the parliament and get the hold of the main positions among the government. The sentence "there will be a time a bankier will be president of the republic" is clearly a wink to our French president Macron, former banker himself.
All in all, Xavier Giannoli makes a great adaptation, with a lot of characters and a fine depiction and understanding of the changes that were at stake back in the 19th century and that have a special resonance nowadays.
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Story of the rise and the fall of a young man in Paris who dreamed to be a writer and became a journalist
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 18, 2022 at 01:25 AM