Movie Review – Jules and Jim

Posted: June 23, 2013 in Movie Reviews
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Having been a huge fan of Francois Truffaut my expectations for this movie was tremendous right from the very first scene. After initial 30 minutes I must say that I was disappointed. The start wasn’t very engaging. It was a regular affair. I didn’t find anything new. I didn’t find the honesty you normally would associate with a Truffaut film. It was morbid. But once Jules got married and they both go to war (opposite sides) things took a U-turn. It was something special after that. When in 2013 it took me 30 minutes to adjust to the Bohemian style of living. Back in 1960’s how would people have reacted to one such story. Truly a daring affair!

jules and jim

The title Jules and Jim created a lot of confusion initially. The shots were taken at a rapid pace and cuts were very fast. The voice over added to the confusion. It was done intentionally to confuse us. For a few minutes I wasn’t sure who was Jim and who Jules was. Only after my friend pointed out that the man with moustache is Jim and the other one is Jules I could confirm that the difference between the two and also got to know that he was confused as much as me.

Jules and Jim are bestest of friends. At certain points when like the place where they fight, the place where they take massage and when Jim recites a paragraph from his novel to Jules we tend to think that there’s going to be some gay overtone but that doesn’t happen anytime. They are friends and they remain friends throughout. Though they both are intellects Jim is the more confident guy out of two and Jules is a more self absorbent one. I loved Jules and everyone will as he’s the soft person and innocent out of the two. Jim on the other hand is a confident young man who gets his girls easy much unlike his other partner. One interesting trivia is that Truffaut found it very tough to film Jim’s scene because of Henri Serre’s height. He told to his friends that he’d never use a person of such height again in his film. Not sure how much he meant but all the screen heroes are of normal height in his films. In fact not many actors were tall during that time.

The title itself is an out of the box one. Due to my negligence I thought Jules and Jim is a girls and guys name respectively. I saw a poster where a man and woman were there so thought would be a nice mild hearted romantic flick but I was in for a surprise. It wasn’t pleasant initially though. More than Jules and Jim it’s a film about Catherine (Jeanne Moreau) In fact her names appears before both Jules (Oskar Werner) and Jim (Henri Serre) in credits section. She torments them both like hell and ends up confusing us too. Towards the climax we don’t know why she took such adverse decision but we don’t worry. We sympathize these guys Jim and Jules but not Catherine who remains the main sort of problem.

But one interesting thing to note is Catherine in spite of being such a pervert, which is her usual self, couldn’t affect the friendship between Jules and Jim. They are as close as always and as inseparable as always. These characters Jules and Jim would forever be fetched in our memory as one of the best friends on screen. I don’t know about others but I’d hate Catherine throughout. And that’s the success of her character.

Many of the scenes reminded me of The Dreamers which was one of the finest movies I’ve ever watched. Though I watched the movie in wrong order it didn’t lessen the impact. Especially the scene where all three lead characters sprint on a bridge. It was truly nostalgic. Till now I’ve watched three movies of Truffaut. Three of them hit the chord with me. This was the only one which took a little late to do so. Other two did it quite instantly. May be that’s why I would rate it below the other two which are 400 blows and Day for Night. But that doesn’t take anything away from the film. It’s as brilliant as any of his other movies are.


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