A Very Long Engagement, 2004. Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, color, 133 minutes. The French film, A Very Long Engagement, is a very dark, romantic war film. The entire film was filmed in France over a span of 18 months. The director also directed the movies Alien: Resurrection (1997) and The City of Lost Children (1995). In most of the movies he directs the main character is an orphan or lost one parent. His movies often are centered around the romance between a couple; Mathilde and Manech in this case.
This film, A Very Long Engagement, is based off of Sebastien Japrisot’s book, Un long dimanche de fiancailles. Like the movie, the book was in French. 3 lead actors are Audrey Tautou who played Mathilde Donnay, Gaspard Ulliel who played Manech Langonnet, and Jodie Foster who played Elodie Gordes. The movie A Very Long Engagement is a fictional movie set in France during World War 1. The main character Mathilde, is in search to find the trust behind what happened to her missing fiance.
Her fiance, Manech, was in the war and purposefully got shot in hope you would be discharged. Instead he was sent to a court-martial and thought to be dead. On Mathilde’s search to find the truth, she finds out many disturbing and interesting things about herself and the people who help her along her way. The movie showed what the war was like and how brutal it was. I don’t think it was completely accurate with the brutality of the war, but if it were completely accurate, not many people would be able to handle that level of violence.
The scene where they sent the 5 condemned soldiers into no-man’s land was very inaccurate. “throwing them into no-man’s land, such things were simply not done. ” The French army was not as brutal as it was portrayed. Soldiers would sometimes be executed for self-mutilation, but they would suffer the penalty (executed); although, there were few records of French soldiers being executed for self-mutilation.
I usually do not like romance movies, but I liked this movie quite a bit. The setup of the movie, how it would explain some event that happened and then do a flashback to the event, was very good. Its balance between the romance and the darker war parts, was good but not great. The ending to the movie, I absolutely did not like one bit; although it did not do a cheesy, predictable ending, it was a poor way to end it. overall, I would give this movie 2. 5 out of 5 stars.