Movie Review – The Rules of the Game

Posted: June 16, 2013 in Movie Reviews
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The rules of the game, one of the most celebrated movie in cinema history, is so complex that you get virtually lost in it. The game played by humans all through their life, framing their own rules is the game Renoir has tried to show us. And Mind it the game is very complex.

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Aviator André Jurieux lands in Paris after successfully completing record setting flight. He meets his friend Octave (Renoir himself, who’s very charming) but gets disappointed when he finds out that the woman he loves, Christine is not there. He publically announces that to the media.  On the other hand a certain rich Christine gets ready for some party helped by her faithful maid Lisette. Christine is already married to a rich bureaucrat Marquis de la Cheyniest for three years who in turn has a mistress named Geneviève. Her maid Lisette is meanwhile married to their game keeper Schumacher but flirts with every male who comes across her except for Marquis. That’s a reason why I called her a faithful maid. Many a time she even says that she’d be willing to serve Christine lifelong than to go out with any guy.

I couldn’t digest when there existed so many relationships. Every relationship was an open relationship. Except than the gamekeeper who wants to abide by the rules no one are protective or possessive about their partners. Yes it’s a sarcastic take of France’s bourgeoisie life by Renoir but as someone who learns things from films it’s tough for me to understand. For now this film is definitely beyond me but I’ll gather what all I got from the film.

No one exactly knows how the real film was as it has been destroyed during war. What we see is work of some passionate people who restored the film by the reels that they’ve got. And this film has the only distinction of having a director’s cut shorter than the original film. That is because back when the film was released there were many protests against the film by aristocrats, press etc. People burned newspapers as a mark of protest.

This is one of the few films we should have watched at that time, that place where it was influential. Watching it now without knowing how the tension was at that time is useless. I don’t want to go research about the film and put down the points. I should have liked the film or I should have at least felt that I should watch the film. I watched the film a couple of times but it still beats me, whether it’s a sarcastic film or a plain film or a new Renoir genre. It must be a new genre, a new style employed by Renoir because I haven’t seen people so open and frank in films.

The thoughts are not masked anywhere. Everyone knows about everyone’s affair but no one keeps by the rules of human nature. Everyone in the film gets set to play a game. A game of shooting just to vent out their anger. But the real game starts after that. A nice touch their by Renoir in the scene where Schumacher chases his wife and her lover. With black and white tiles beneath and with every move he does, with every door he opens he gets surprise. There are so many interlinked relationships going on. One move by one person could become fatal to someone whom they might think is totally unrelated. Just like a game of chess.

Out of every character that I came across I hated Octave more than anyone else. He was a perfect opportunist who formed as a link between the rich and the poor. The one who gets fat by eating out of the fight between rich and the poor. It requires guts to portray such role in 1930’s. Being a director he could have chosen anyone to have played that role but he played it himself. His fat stature helping in this case. I looked at him that way. May be you could argue he was naïve and that’s why he could mingle with everyone with equal ease. May be that’s right too. He comes back to the palace to take his coat before leaving with Christine whom he had previously addressed as his sister. But he is stopped by Lisette who at that time is without any male company. Octave instead allows Jurieux to go with Christine. The only good guy gets killed by the gamekeeper, the only person who plays by the rules of the game.

It’s an ultimate satirical end to the drama where rich’s triumph. Even in the first scene the person who has achieved so much, the aviator is shown in dark whereas Catherine, a lady who uses every gent she comes across is shown in full brightness with white dress and white background. I saved this point to the last because if you had read this and agreed by the other paragraphs wouldn’t make you think much.

This is just an amateurish take on this movie. Many analysis are out there in the movie. Sorry for being submissive. I feel inferior when I see movies like this. 

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