Movie Review – The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie

Posted: January 4, 2014 in Movie Reviews
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How would you feel when you listen to some story with rapt attention, get connected with the characters, sympathize them, empathize them, love them, hate them and finally come to know its all is just a dream. That’s what dream does to us. When you are in a dream, a surreal world you don’t know who you are but you are part of a sudden universe. You are more involved in situation than thinking about the past. There are no boundaries, there is nothing you can’t do. Inception explored it to an extent, in a scienctific format but what Bunuel does here is interpreting it in a real dreamy format.


But for a change you don’t forget this movie like a dream. I’m not against Inception, I loved that too but here the director effortlessly plays tricks. Though we first get involved with the story, it could be till any moment. I got doubts during the scene where the restaurant owner dies and confirmed the surrealism when a soldier came forward with a ghost story. But for you it could happen at some other juncture. It was like how Coffey suddenly makes Green Mile a surreal film. But this time I was damned. I felt cheated. But that feeling of being cheated took an U-turn when the dream sequences started.

It is one of the most confusing overlapping dream sequences I’ve ever watched. Looking back I can’t remember which sequence happened in which dream. I know it was supposed to be meant like this but it irritates when you can’t come to a conclusion after watching film for a couple of hours with full concentration. Luis Bunuel reportedly was not happy with the way reviewers reviewed the film and I can understand that. It is not a film that could be reviewed easily. It all depends on how we understand the story.

It’s not that only food they can’t eat, no one is not able to have sex too. Be it with their legitimate pair or with the ones they’d like to make love with. The satire on bourgeoisie people can’t be made harsher. Their hunger for sex, their hunger for food, a typical upper echelon hypocrisy and the way they shameless linger with people for their own benefits. It’d have been such a shot in the arm.

The film which was confusing at the time of my first watch, The Rules of the Game, now looks far more settled than Discreet Charm. The Rules of the Game at least had only one point to prove but with Discreet Charm there were multiple layers of storytelling. It was different in every little aspect. But throughout the film I was reminded of the film which was confusing at the time of my first watch, The Rules of the Game.

Seems that Bunuel was not happy with the poster of the film. Not sure it was because the poster depicts the film as an erotic one but I loved the poster with a huge lip occupying the upper half of a caricatured man. I loved the posters of Dev D when it got released and that’s when I came to know about this movie. I wanted to watch that ever since but finally it happened the first thing in New Year.

The end credits again is a treat to watch, read as hear, with never-ending footsteps till the last name in credits appear. Bunuel has definitely tried a lot of things and left us unexplained but that could be a reason why this movie is great.


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