Friday, 4 May 2012

Movie Date: Jeux d'enfants

French may be the most beloved language of most women or romantics, not because of its sole grammatical appeal, but more because people think it sounds romantic. In my opinion, the language is more secretive and exclusive. I love how it sounds like you're both saying something and nothing at all, not because of its so-called romanticism. My sister has learnt this language for a good month or so back in CCF in Indonesia when she was there on vacation. For a great first few months in Germany, I have enjoyed watching several french films, this one being one of my very favourites, Jeux d'enfants -- which translates literally as playground.

You may recognize it better with its english title, Love Me If You Dare. Again, with the foreign language, there's a bonus cultural point there. This movie is probably one of the earliest films Marion Cotillard has ever starred in, I don't know. But I enjoy seeing a younger Marion Cotillard in the cinematography world. This movie was released in 2003, although it somehow looks older than that. The humbleness of this film is ever so lovely, as if showing a different version of France than what most people have in mind when one mention France.

Jeux d'enfants tells a story of two childhood friends who didn't know how to grow up. There was Julien Janvier, a boy whose mother was currently sick, and Sophie Kowalsky, a girl who was getting bullied by their classmates. One day, Julien's mother gave him a small can with a picture of a carousel on it. Seeing Sophie getting bullied, Julien gave her the can, although half-heartedly and asked her whether she would lend it to him now and then. Sophie dared him to prove that he really wanted the can, which he accepted by pulling down the brake on the school bus filled with their classmates. Julien's father wasn't a big fan of Sophie and thought her a rather bad influence for him. It was true, since they kept getting into trouble together now and again. Julien was a happy child, until one day his mother got admitted to the hospital and died. Afterwards his father asked Sophie's parents to allow her to sleep over at their place. Several years later, they were still very close friends who kept daring each other with the can as a prize. Being no longer children, they realized that they couldn't be as they were before and kept falling out and bouncing back again. The peak was when he was getting married and she dared him to say "no" on his wedding day and ruined the whole ceremony, resulting to his father shunning him for life. As revenge, Julien dared her to put on blindfolds and told her, without her knowledge, to stand in a railway. He didn't even warn her when a train came closer and they decided to cut contact for 10 years.

Normally, a story with a dramatic plot isn't my taste but I love the unique idea with the dares that went for years based on a can. A little secret that posed far too dangerous for them. This film portrays exactly how people would look like if they live as children their whole lives -- playground, indeed. In the end, Julien and Sophie never grew up and probably never will. What a playful and wonderful life, had reality never kicked back. I totally recommend it. Anyway, have a great Friday and weekend, all! Cheerio!

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