Projections - Movie Reviews

The Girl on the Bridge The Girl on the Bridge

The Girl on the Bridge (La Fille Sur le Pont) opens with a twenty two old Adele (Vanessa Paradis) taking questions in some sort of TV studio from an inconspicuous interviewer.  She is obviously worthy of affection from her responsiveness on continuous misfortunes with men, some kind of unlucky life from her mistake of constantly having sex with every guy she meets.  She never feels a sense of purpose in her life.

Director Patrice Leconte (Monsieur Hire, The Hairdresser's Husband) has made a rather whimsical hypnotic fairy tale that makes good use of its wide screen black and white format and atypical love story.  An offbeat fantasy for sure, The Girl on the Bridge is a fancy high wire emotional act that takes pride in rarely falling off of the deep end in terms of storytelling.

After its opening sequence with the ravishing, gap toothed, matter of fact Adele, Leconte shifts to a Paris bridge on the Seine where Adele considers jumping.  A worn, wandering carnival knife thrower Gabor (Daniel Auteuil) sees the dole lass, saves her, and wants her to be a part of his act.

The pair head to Monaco where Gabor says he'll throw blind to get into the circus act, and Adele begins to have things go her way, in this odd, symbiotic relationship with the knife wielding magician.

Luck appears to be on their side as she does very well at the roulette table.  Yet, Gabor doesn't sexually engage his targets, their relationship has an ethereal erotic aura to it.  It's all about the value place on pure luck.  Only their doubt can have the magic fade away.  As they get euphoria from the knife act and from some minor cuts on Adele, her ways of not rejecting potential lovers could change on a whim and Gabor's aim could go askew in an instant.

Within the winding sights and a snappy repartee between Gabor and Adele, the austere outward presence of Auteuil matches well with the hurt Paradis who's excelled as a super model and pop singer.

Written by Serge Frydman, The Girl on the Bridge adroitly has the viewer on hapless Adele's side even before Gabor even enters the picture.

Some may have a nonsensical take on Leconte's work at circus life, with its erotic Houdinis, but, Jean Marie Dreujou's baroque lensing showcases the game performers and it translates into a peculiarly taut romantic comedy.

The Girl on the Bridge

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