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L’ Appartement (The Apartment)

July 19, 2007

Title: L’ Appartement (The Appartment)
Language: French
Year of Release: 1996
Director: Gilles Mimouni
Actors: Vincent Cassel, Monica Bellucci, Romane Bohringer, Jean-Philippe Écoffey
Awards: BAFTA Award for Best Foreign film (1997)

I had read about this movie while reading about Monica Bellucci a couple of years ago. And finally got this movie in campus last semester. A romantic thriller with a good amount of suspense….it just blew me away and I have no hesitation to rate this as the second best French movie I have seen till now; topping that chart is another movie named ” Amelie” and among the foreign films which are worth recommending to everyone.

The story revolves around 4 characters, whose lives are intermingled with each other. The film opens with a scene where Max is buying a wedding ring for his fiancee who’s gonna marry him in sometime. Then on his way out, he meets his buddy Lucien who has been out of touch for quite sometime now. After their conversation, Max goes to a restaurant where he has a deal with couple of Japanese and we come to know that Max is on his way to Tokyo that same night. But before leaving that place, Max sees Lisa (Monica Bellucci), his estranged girl-friend and tries to follow her and finally gets to know where she lives. Finally the next day he goes inside her house to surprise her when she comes home….but to his surprise he comes to know that he has been following the wrong woman…Alice….and then their lives are not the same again….He tells the whole story about why he’s there and in a bizzare turn of events, they make love at night. The next day Alice promises to meet him, but she doesn’t keep the promise. This prompts Max to leave the apartment and meet his friend Lucien. There he tells him that he had almost got hold of Lisa but when he went there, she wasn’t in the building. Then Lucien invites him to come along with him to watch a drama where his fiancee would be performing. When they reach there, Max realizes that Lucien’s fiancee is Alice and is utterly shocked. Alice is equally shocked to see him there and she quits the stage out of the blue prompting her director from firing her from the job. Meanwhile Lisa is back in town and is escaping from a rich man who wants to marry her. We come to know that Alice and Lisa are very good friends. One day while coming out of a restaurant, she gets the phone number of Max and she’s too happy to have found him atlast. She gives a call to Max, but he doesn’t pick up the phone, so she leaves him a voicemail. Then somehow, she gives Lucien the message that she would like to meet Max at the same location where she had promised to meet Max before. She waits there for quite sometime, but Max doesn’t turn up and then she goes back to her apartment. On the other hand, Lucien convinces Max to meet his fiancee and there, Alice reveals the true identity of who she is and how she had a crush on Max even before he had met her. Max leaves the place, and Alice breaks her engagement with Lucien and plans to go away out of the country. Lucien who knows what car Alice uses goes to her apartment and is convinced to spot the car there, but he doesn’t know that Lisa had been using that car on that day. Back there in the airport, Max realizes how much Alice loves him and he too expresses his feelings for her. Alice asks him to hold the luggage for a moment telling him that she would come back in sometime…meanwhile, Max’s current fiancee spots him in the airport; she’s under the impression that Max has come back from Tokyo. Alice and Max bid each other good bye from a distance. Back there in the apartment, Lisa meets a tragic death; the rich man who was about to marry her kills her out of rage that she was sleeping with another man, where infact it was Alice who was with Max on the day when this rich man looks over the apartment’s window. Thus each one of them go on with their lives.

It’s a bit complicated to write about the story in this manner…when the movie follows a non-linear fashion! Although what I have written here might look bizzare, but the movie should make all things clear…and it’s non-linear fashion leaves a deeper impact too. The brilliance of story telling stands out! The screenplay and editing are very nice and also the transition of one scene from another. Acting is great…since each character brings out the emotions of what they are going through…be it a person who’s trying to find his lost love; a person who’s trying to fall in love; a woman who doesn’t really understand whom she loves the most and the other woman…personally i felt this one was the best….the one who’s desperately waiting for the person whom she is in love with, but when he’s finally with her she doesn’t tell him the truth….untill one day where their lives and dreams are shattered and they move on.

This is a story of fate….of how fate determines the turn of events. It is also a story of, how far can you go to get the person you love. With a rather unexpected ending, where I still wonder couldn’t it have been otherwise…but later i tell myself that’s how life is. You really cannot do much about it…just going with the flow expecting that it would all end well…as it is supposed to be. Please do watch this movie….you will enjoy it….if not anything, guys, you can drool over Monica Bellucci…she looks so babe in the movie!!!!

To put it one sentence…” It is a Jig-saw puzzle which is beautiful even though, it’s not set in a proper sequence. Because that’s life.”

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