The winding streets of Paris are the perfect setting for this arrangement of several stories woven together by shared places. Places are arbitrary unless you create a memory and make it your own. On the surface, this film talks about love and the inevitability of it. An unfortunate latent effect of having the stories unfold in Paris is that it fools people into believing that love chooses a place and that it is bred in places like this. It only enforces the idea that love is psychological and there are times that it seems that we force it out because we are in a place like Paris or that we are lonely.
Of all the stories, my favourite one was the aspiring actress falling in love with a blind man. Beside the fact that it was magnificent in terms of how it was shot, the story is told so beautifully. With the script and the setting, it would give anyone a sense of redemption when it finally ends. I especially liked the depiction of how time flies and how we can’t control it and what it does to a relationship. There is a line in The Virgin Suicides that goes “she was the still point of my turning world” that encapsulates that sequence perfectly. Everything else is in a rush and going past you but once you’re in love you realize that standing still is perfectly fine.
The repetition of the word “exams” could symbolize the redundancy of their situation. How everything else is the same except for you. The way the story is told is fast paced and shot in very short scenes except for the times when the characters are just standing still. Memory does that, sometimes past experiences are just flashes. That was evident in how they cut the scenes so abruptly almost as if in a hurry to get to the next.
The best line was when Thomas, the blind man, said I see you to his girlfriend, Francine. Three words that hold so much symbolism is a sign of a brilliant script. Other than the quite obvious connotation that love is blind, this line relays a message that it knows no limitations. It surpasses all disabilities and obstacles. There are no force as strong that defies the very physical laws of nature.
This story was one the realistic ones, in regard to the more fantastic ones such the vampire story starring Elijah Wood. The back streets of Paris can be frightening in the night. Not all love stories happen underneath bright lights and sunshine. Probably a metaphor for love sucking oneself dry, this story was dark in the guise of a romance happening in the crevices of a city so alive.
Of all the movies watched in class, this must be the lightest. In contrast to the dark comedies and thrillers, this movie was a great addition. It manages to be happy and beautiful without being too corny or overly lovey dovey. Its greatest quality is the ability to stitch together very different people and say that there is no formula for loving another or oneself.