Thursday, October 09, 2008

[French Film Festival] If You Love Me, Follow Me (Qui M'aime Me Suive)

Let's Rock This Joint!

We probably have the wildest of dreams during our youths, where the skies the limit and enthusiasm knows no bounds. Full of boundless energy and a daring to try out the unknown, a society like ours gets us all pragmatic and in living up to expectations of the elders, where success equates to getting a well paid job which comes from a set of good academic papers to show for. If we've achieved all those and gone through a soulless period, what happens if we get seduced again with Maslow's hierarchy of needs, and seek self-actualization by revisiting those youthful dreams again?

For Max (Mathieu Demy), he becomes the head of a hospital at the age of 33, a feat he gets congratulated for by friends and family in the opening of the movie, with his parents beaming with pride. But we soon find out that he's unhappy, despite having a job many would kill for, and a beautiful wife Praline (Julie Depardieu) at his side. He's burnt out, and no longer finds saving lives a joy, but a chore, down to a point where he flares up at an uncooperative patient.

In a drinking spree, he notices a bar singer Chine (Eleonore Pourriat) and watching her do her gig, it revived some memories of a rock band he used to front. Getting all excited, he recruits Chine into his band, and calls up ex band members in Felipe the drummer (Fabio Zenoni) and Apache the bassist (Warren Zavatta) and sets up frequent jamming sessions at the cellar of his long time friend Anna (Romane Bohringer) who actually after all these years, is still holding a torch for him.

Co-written and directed by Benoit Cohen, this film tried to examine the price of sacrifice, and actually touches on a real subject that I believe many working adults would have asked themselves at one point or another - what am I doing here, and what's my purpose in life? Being in a rat race, it's relatively easy to recognize our fantasy of walking away from a regular job in pursuit of a lifelong dream, but how many of us actually have the courage to step away from our comfort zone, and battle it out in a new environment of opportunity?

And that of support too, which is important, as many a times we have those who depend on us to bring home the dough, and that the pursuit of dreams could put those arrangements into disarray. In Max's case, he engages his colleague Jojo (Mathias Miekuz) to cover for him and hide his intent from his wife, because he understands how it would upset her, though there's an entire backstory that works on this aspect as well.

Besides the marital strength between Max and Praline being tested, there were other minor developments amongst the other supporting characters that come into play, especially during the retreat all of them had, with new relationships being forged and revealed, some for the better, others just being a spanner thrown in to mix things up a little. But it is still that between Max and Praline that questioned again, the reality of a marriage, whether you really know what you're in for, or are you hooked onto the illusion of someone who doesn't exist, or worse, being together only because of convenience, or gratitude.

Despite being labelled a comedy, this movie is anything but that with some real nagging issues constantly provoking your mind. There were some light comedy though, but some which I felt were somewhat lost in translation. The music on the other hand, was a joy to sit through and listen to, and just right up my alley with its rocking, edgy sound.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...