Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cet obscur objet du désir (That Obscure Object of Desire) (1977)

Director: Luis Bunuel
Writers:  Luis Bunuel, Jean-Claude Carriere, Pierre Louys
Cast:      Fernando Rey, Carole Bouquet, Angela Molina
Language: French/Spanish

The film tells the story of an aging French man Mathieu who falls in love with a young Spanish woman Conchita who repeatedly frustrates his romantic and sexual desires. It is set in Spain and France against the backdrop of terrorist insurgency. The story is shown as a flashback told by Mathieu  to his fellow passengers during a train ride from Seville to Madrid.

There are two actresses playing the role of Conchita with them switching throughout the film and even during the middle of some scenes. Bunuel suggested this idea playfully to the producer after the filming was halted due to an actress leaving the film.The relation between Mathieu and Conchita is very manipulative and it isn't clear who is manipulating who. One should wonder about the truthfulness with which Mathieu is narrating the story to his fellow passengers because he seems to get a lot of sympathy from them even though from what is shown to us he doesn't warrant it.

This was Luis Bunuel's last film and many directors tend to dabble with films about films and storytelling towards the latter part of their careers. This is one such film.

Rating: 4/5