Wednesday, August 23, 2006
The Lover is certainly not on a par with Hiroshima mon amour, but it is a reasonably good adaptation of Duras' novel, and manages to capture a bit of its essential complexity. Mostly, the film is impressive for numerous torrid fuck-scenes featuring the delicious Jane March and studly Tony Leung.
L'Amant features a heroine reaching back to her distant past. At 15 she's semi-detached from several worlds: navigating the cusp of womanhood, confused by a colonial culture gone decadent, possessing an evil older and a saintly younger brother and a tragic incapable mother. She is seduced by a wealthy Chinese twice her age. Their love is forbidden by French, Chinese, and Vietnamese, and yet it's all they have. Duras specializes in the pain of memory and forgetting, and Annaud's film is a worthy attempt at mimicking her style. The Lover influenced a much better film, also starring Tony Leung.