Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Le Week-End (2013)

Director: Roger Michell
Writer:    Hanif Kureishi
Cast:       Lindsay Duncan, Jim Broadbent, Jeff Goldblum

An old British couple returns to Paris many years after their honeymoon there in an attempt to rejuvenate their marriage. They have been married for thirty years and the husband is increasingly getting dependent on his wife for comfort while she is actually quite sick of him. 

Film is I guess what the fifth installment of Richard Linklater's Before series would look like. Or you could say that it is the 'Before Midnight' one for really old and close to retirement couple. You don't normally get films handling lost love in a very long relationship. You either get one of them where it is about grief and coping with death of the significant other like 'About Schmidt' or one about the process of death itself like Michael Haneke's 'Amour'. The husband (Jim Broadbent) in Le Week-End is a Philosophy professor and a Cambridge graduate. He is not as successful/famous as he thought he would be in his younger days. Being attuned with Philosophy he is mostly sanguine about his situation and there isn't much of bitterness on the surface. His wife (Lindsay Duncan) is a biology teacher who has aged rather gracefully. She wants to retire and pursue activities that interests her more at this ripe old age. You get a feeling that the power distance in the relationship got inverted over the course of their relationship, even though one would presume that it is not much of an issue in the Western parts of the world. In Paris, they meet a successful but vain author friend (Jeff Goldblum) of the husband who invites them to a party hosted by him on the occasion of his latest book's launch. Things come to a head during the party but ultimately resulting in the rejuvenation that they were looking for.

Overall it is a great watch where the conversations between them are really interesting and much of it has not got anything to do with a plot per se. It is always nice to see the famous dance scene from Jean Luc Godard's 'Bande a Part' getting replicated on screen in a French diner. Got to say this one doesn't have much in common with Jean Luc Godard's 'Weekedn' despite the sameness of the title. I haven't seen any other film from the director's filmography which includes 'Notting Hill' and I have no intention of watching that.

Rating: 4/5