Thursday, 23 August 2012

MOVIE - Les Amours Imaginaires (2010)

Les Amours Imaginaires (Heartbeats) is a French movie that I had been wanting to watch for the past year and finally had the pleasure of doing so after my exams. Directed, written, edited by Xavier Dolan, he plays the protagonist Francais, a young man that falls for the new guy in town, Nick, at the same time that his good friend Mary does.

That's pretty much it, plot-wise. However, the movie does not depict the conventional love triangle and some scenes were uncomfortable to watch. No, not because of the acting (I quite enjoyed the performances of Dolan and Monia Chokri who plays Mary), but how much the movie reminds you the embarrassment that almost comes hand in hand with infatuation.

The competition between Mary and Francis is never explicitly said, but the undercurrent sensations of jealousy and lust are prevalent and the fact that the protagonists are unaware of all this, of how all their emotions are blanketed across their faces for the world to see allows us to reflect on our past infatuations. The movie illustrates how such lust can consume us, influencing how we act, how we perceive the world and the relationships present in our lives.

Les Amours Imaginaires is gorgeous, of which can easily be mistaken as the stylized preteniousness of any conventional French film and I must admit that thought did cross my mind. However, Dolan in this interview, raises an interesting point:

"The film is about the way we magnify people when we’re in love -- walking down the street feeling like we’re floating, hence the slow motion, the music, the costumes, the colors. A lot of people said it was a case of style over substance, but being in love is often a case of style over substance."

I feel that this movie and its stylistic devices felt less awkward than it did for Dolan's first film J'ai tué ma mère and Les Amours Imaginaires was more fluid in general, however I found more depth within J'ai tué ma mère and thus was able to connect to it more. Nevertheless, both films are fantastic and I look forward to eventually watching Laurence Anyways.


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