Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cleo from 5 to 7

I did not really know what to make of this movie while I was watching it. The premise of following two hours in a day where a character waits for cancer-test results seems very interesting on paper. What I did not like about this movie was the performance and portrayal of Cleo by Corinne Marchand. While the movie supposedly has traces of existentialism and feminism raging through it, the performance and actions of the character do not seem to follow a realistic or coherent pattern.

Reading certain reviews of this movie, and listening to class discussion, one can understand that many view this film in a feminist light. I do not understand this connection. Cleo is a vain pop-star who buys a hat to make herself feel better. She looks in mirrors constantly and visits fortune tellers. A whole aura of superficiality emanates from both the actions of the character and the actor herself. I find nothing to confide in Cleo, and no trace of feminist values within her character or what her character does. If any lesson or effect is had, it is only due to the most dire of circumstance, not moral character.

The interactions between characters in this movie also seem odd at times, because Cleo is such a larger-than-life figure. She seems unapproachable, yet is often approached. The men in the movie seem to have a very fixed view of Cleo's place in the world, even if they do respect her. She is objectified, and seems to only care for objects. Whether this is a response to the society that objectifies her, or a cause for the objectification, is very open to interpretation. Without any clues on how to interpret this, however, the film loses much of its meaning. Not to say I would like to see a preachy feminist film, but if one is trying to make a point they may as well include evidence for their argument.

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