Sunday, September 14, 2008

Les cousins -Claude Charbrol

Les Cousins begins with a young man named Charles moving into his cousins apartment to study law in Paris.  Charles is unaccustomed to his cousin Paul's wild party life, being a fairly modest and good- hearted country boy, but finds some thrill in it at first.  Charles instantly falls in love with Florence, one of Paul's friends who has been known to sleep around.  Paul, showing his characteristics as  a human, seduces Florence when she was to meet with Charles after school.  Paul continues to have parties and stay up till all hours of the night even as finals approach. Charles is unable to study and eventually fails his exam while Paul passes his exam effortlessly.  Charles is then driven to insanity and half-plans to kill Paul in his sleep.  The next morning, Paul picks up the loaded gun and accidently shoots Charles while making a joke.  This moment shows the irony in fate in which Charbrol chooses to use to end the movie. 
Charbrol used ironies throught the movie that put a peculiar twist into certain scenes.   Paul passes his test with no study, while Charles worked diligently, hardly taking breaks to eat and failed.  The fact that Charles put one bullet into a six shooter and drew a blank on Paul in his sleep portrays a irony of fate in Paul's often psychopathic behavior.  
Although Charbrol was one of the most commercialized directors of the new wav era, the lack of reasoning for certain shots and filming techniques keeps the audience guessing while the exaggerated emotion found in outrageous characters keeps them entertained.