Roman de Gare- French sophistication at its best

If we didn’t use up the two free tickets to the Palace Cinema by next week, they would have been out of date. So that’s how come we went to see “Roman de Gare.” I don’t like movies nowadays for many reasons that I have given in past blogs.

But “Roman de Gare ” is one that I should have seen earlier even if we didn’t have to use up the free tickets. It is very, very, very, good.

I did some post grad research on Alfred Hitchcock’s films a few years ago and this film reminded me of them. Hitchcock was a master of suspense, and Claude Lelouch’s French production comes very close to the master’s high standard.

Just when you think you have worked things out, along comes a twist. Like an itch you have to scratch.

In this film, the audience is led along a tantalising excursion to discover who is the mystery man who turns up at a highway rest stop in France. Is he good? Is he bad? What does he want? Is he dangerous?

He offers a lift to Huguette who has been dumped by her boyfriend, and we wonder if the driver is going to hurt her. Pierre, the mystery man, is played by Dominique Pinon who is excellent in the role. As a leading man, Pinon is the antithesis of pretty boy, Brad Pitt. I’m always impressed by the French who often choose plain men for leading roles. It’s something that the Americans just can’t bring themselves to do except in silly monster movies.

Think of Gerard Depardieu who has been a leading man in countless films. He is overweight and quite unattractive, but somehow the French can make him a star, even a sex symbol, and isn’t that terrific!

Is Pierre the serial rapist who has just escaped from prison? Is he a missing person, a writer? Lelouch leads us along a path and then teases us back to another path. But he does this with such affability that we enjoy being teased. We go along with Pierre for the ride and the trip is well worth it.

I am purposely not telling you all what it’s about because that would spoil it. Take my advice and go see “Roman de Gare” before it disappears because it’s satisfying on many levels. It’s a thriller, a romance, a philosophical discussion about hypocrisy and ambition, and more importantly, it’s very entertaining.


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