Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Felicity Jones, Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Friend, Kathy Bates, Tom Burke, Tobe Kebbell.
Synopsis: The son of a courtesan retreats into a fantasy world after being forced to end his relationship with the older woman who educated him in the ways of love.
Review: Chéri ( Rupert Friend ) is a young spoiled man who is in a romantic relationship with an older woman. His mother disapproves of his relationship with her so she marries him off to Edmée ( Felicity Jones ) as a way of keeping her son and family name as decent as possible. Lea ( Michelle Pfeiffer ) tries to fill in the void of losing her young lover. She looks for other young men but still feels empty.
Its always a privilege to see Felicity Jones in a movie. I love her work in ROUGE ONE (2016) even if there are some ungrateful mindless fools who don’t like the movie. That film will always be a home run ( some ‘drones’ fell asleep in the theater during the movie ). Some troglodytes don’t know a good movie when they see it ( not our kind of people ). Another performance by Tobe Kebbell. He is in yet another film with Felicity Jones A Monster Calls (2016). Chéri looks just like some kind of vampire in this movie. I would think that he belongs in the twilight series. Michelle Pfeiffer does a good job in this movie. When she is in pain it seems real.
The film focuses on the concept of ethics. Is love ageless? The film posits that age has very little to do with love. A younger man can be in love with an older woman but we will run into the inevitable question of is this ethical? Chéri was about 19 years old when the movie starts, showing us his relationship with Lea, so its kind of weird and may make you feel uncomfortable. You tent to feel a little better when he is 25 years old, but he is married so that makes things even worse when you think about what Chéri’s selfish infatuation is doing to his legal and rightful wife that he is neglecting. Bottom line is that he is a cheater and a liar. Its really hard to sympathies with this main protagonist. The more you think about how selfish this spoiled young man is the more you may end up hating him. On the other hand, maybe he was not diagnosed as mentally ill since the film takes place before World War I. Doctors probably didn’t know of certain behavioral disorders at that time. Watch the whole film and you will see what I mean.
The cinematography is perfect. The backgrounds, set dressing, lighting, and wardrobe are all absolutely perfect. The director really knows how to take advantage of the beautiful scenery. This is a really good looking movie. The film pushes the story forward. I’m very thankful for that since some directors ( Zack Snyder ) do not know when a movies act starts and finishes. Its refreshing to watch a movie that can actually tell a story, is made with quality, and not just some sorry money grab. The movie is above average but its not a ‘fun’ movie. The film gets kind of dark towards the ending half of the movie. I wont give anything away here, but this is not a happily ever after style film.
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