Wednesday, 28 October, 2009

Two Days in Paris

I just saw Two Days in Paris for breakfast. Yes one of the good things about being unemployed!Well I have been a fan of Julie Delpy even since Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, so ever since I heard that this movie has come I wanted to watched. It played in selected Indian inoxes but never got a chance to see this in India.

This movie is conceptualised, written, produced, directed and acted in by Delpy. Her character Marion is a French photographer who is based in New York for the last two years.  She is in a relationship with this interior designer American guy called Jack (Adam Goldberg). They come for an Europe trip, go to Venice for two weeks and on their way back stay in Paris for two days. They stay in Marion's flat which is on top of her parent's house and of course all hell breaks loose.

I loved the characterisation of this Jack guy...he is no run of the mill hero and so ordinary that you cannot help but like him. He complains about everything, thinks he is sick (headache migrane, tonsil...), dreads allergies, infections, diseases, terrorist attacks and just about everything else, refuses to use the metro or the bus and is judgemental to boot. Marion since, they are in her city, tries to play the pacifying hostess and calms the guy down. She is no less in her own way, is paranid about being fat, gets drunk easily, seamlessly picks up fights with random taxi drivers, ex boy friends and even waiters who come in her way. Ah yes she has plenty of exes in Paris and the couple seem to be bumping into these guys all the while, much to the frustration of Jack. After meeting half dozen or more of her ex lovers Jack is convinced that Marion is a whore but cannot say it on her face. I was laughing while watching this scene. It is so true we women can so easily call a man 'a bastard'  but for men there is some code of honour which stops them from uttering it the 'w' word. Though that does not stop him from thinking or even obsessing about it. Of course I am not talking about abusive men, but normal men like Jack here.

Jack is monolingual, speaks only English and so is everyone he meets in Paris.The only problem is they speak only French. This results in some laughter for the Parisans while Jack gets embarassed and mad at Marion. He hates the language, the food and just about everything else. Finally with great difficulty he finds double cheese burger and fries and looks happy and sated.To give him some credit the poor guy also without trying runs into trouble like faces a bomb threat, gets mistakenly handcuffed for mugging etc etc.

I have one small experience of this cultural thingy....I spent one Christams with a Philipina family who forgot that I am a non Tagalog speaking Indian. The whole evening they spoke to me in Tagalog. After a while I stopped telling them that I do not speak Tagalog, thank you very much. Instead I nodded and smiled which made them happy. One evening could be fun, but days of this I am sure would not be.  I am sure couples belonging to different cultures and speaking different languages do have this kind of problem. In fact I was having a conversation with a friend who was a little skeptical about the cultural difference with her boy friend.

To get back to the movie, the characters are very realistically etched and the viewer can establish almost an instant connection and identification with them. And as has become Delpy stock in trade some of her self realisation are just too good. Delpy is good but Goldberg is superb. Though I would still rate the Before movies higher, this is a good watch.


  1. Suchi - now you made me want to see it. Hope to catch it on DVD sometime.....Good to see the posts have become regular again....Hugs...

  2. yeah muthu grab a dvd, it is nice, better still watch it with parag....once you watch it you will know what i two belonging to diff lingual families, am sure must have gone through some of it....


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