Thursday, 8 December 2005

You said Civilisation?!


I've been intending to post about this French movie I saw a couple of months ago, but something else, another idea, would come up and then...

The movie is called "Comme une Bête" (lit. "Like an Animal"). I'd decided that it wasn't worth being watched and would do to bed as soon as it'd start if the MBC didn't replace it by another one at the last minute, which they often do. But they didn't and I watched still. With reason. It startled me.

Scene 1. Furious guy manipulating gun steps into call booth and dials number:
Guy: "Inspector X?
Inspector X: "Yes?"

Furious guy shoots the phone. Inspector X with his head exploded still holding the phone appears on the screen.

(My sisters and I look at each other, too surprised to laugh at the absurdity of the scene).

Scene 2. Woman sitting as if she's posing for an ID card photo is crying, she sneezes once.

The screen goes blank then the words: 5 months ago appear.

Now the movie starts.

Leo, Our Furious Guy, was born and raised in an orphanage founded by his father, a veterinary, in Indonesia. The Furious Leo, who is very happy at this stage, has monkeys as playing companions. He loves them, the monkeys. He is very agile and strong. He speaks very literal French. His words carry no double meaning. He is so very innocent. Then the father dies. The authorities decide to take over the orphanage. The monkeys which his father used to let roam around would be put into cages. The Happy-Soon-To-Be-Angry Leo is not happy with the new measures. He decides he'd go to civilisation, to France. He knows nothing of both. He's just a simple guy to whom poetry and music had been taught and nothing more. He has a pure and idealistic conception of life.

He knows his father came from France. Leo has no possessions. He takes some money, his motorbike (he's a great rider, rather an acrobat really) and goes to the harbour. The captain offers to take him in exchange of manual work. He says OK and wants to pay still. The Captain says all right then tells Leo to keep his money after taking a look at it. It's very out of date useless money.

Our Leo steps into a cabin he's supposed to share with another guy. He stares at the man. The man, annoyed, scowls and demands to know why he's being stared at, like that.

Leo: "You're black!!!?"
Other guy (scowling more): "Yes, so what?"
Leo: "It's just that I've never seen any one black before"
Other Guy (sotto voce): "Damn racist"


Our Leo, pointing to a Pamela Anderson like picture plastered over the cabin's door: "That your mother?"
Other guy stares at him speechless.

In the canteen, Our Leo spots a lone man with long hair. He pulls a chair and straddles it facing the lone man. Lone man looks behind him then realises he is who is being stared at. He stops eating and barks: "What the hell are you staring at?" Our Leo says: "You have such beautiful hair. May I touch it"? Lone man leaves muttering "fag" under his breath....

Our Leo does reach France, after being almost thrown over board for freeing birds the Captain was intending for the black market. Our Leo meets character’s who personify the evils of this our times.

He finds himself implicated into a murder case. Then, because he tells the truth, he’s considered mad and sent to an asylum. Because he cannot lie and is not believed when he is actually telling the truth. In the asylum, he falls in love with a girl with a problem. She believes herself ugly and fat and goes mad when weight related words are pronounced into her presence. He cures her, through music and poetry. He’s crazy about her. Because she does not wear perfumes. He cannot stand perfumed women. At one point he’s almost raped by a perfumed woman.

When the Girl-from-The-Asylum loses her weight in circumstances too strange and long to be narrated here, and turns into a star, she dumps him. He'd end up killing.

The end is sad really. Our so very innocent Leo dies. At loss. He screams that he'd have preferred living into His forest among his animals, at least there, he was understood.

4 comments:

Adeline said...

Nice new place! Lets have a housewarming, I want to see mauritius. I promise I wont make a mess.

suleyman said...

I don't get it. What did the guy shooting the phone have to do with the rest of the movie?

-Suley

Fitèna said...

Lol! You're right Suley! He was the cop who first sent him to the asylum! If he'd been believed in the first place, he wouldn't have gone to the asylum, then he wouln't have met the girl etc etc...

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