Lila dit ça (2004)

“Lila dit ça” (2004)




*** This comment may contain spoilers ***

‘Finding Forrester’ meets Nabokov, meets Tornatore. The final product may superficially look ‘Lucia y el Sexo’, but it’s quite a different game. And quite different souls playing.

I think in the end, this is a miscellaneous of different ideas, different paces, different dynamics, and it doesn’t really work like was intended (at least like what i think was intended). It tries to work the coming of age of a young boy, the flower that grows in a swamp of marginals. He is a writer, this matters, ahead in the film, and he relates to a girl.

She is a Lolita, and in the end we come to understand that the boy writes the story she tells him (thus the name of the film). I’m starting to find a common device in films, which is the type in which we are hinted that the film we are watching is in fact the film or book that someone in that film is creating. ‘Pepi, Luci…’, ‘Das Leben…’etc. one day i’ll list them.

Vahina Giocante is part of the reason this failed for me. She is no Dominique Swain, or even Juliette Lewis. A part like this probably required someone like Jennifer Connely in her teen/early adult years. Giocante actually uses her eyes quite well, but not much more than that. This may be cultural, but she didn’t work here for me.

There is a subplot about Muslim immigrants in France (the director belongs, i believe, to that context). I think it steps a little bit too much on that subject. Nothing against it, but you can make films about immigration and social frictions if you want (‘La Haine’, made by a french) but here it was supposed to work on the level of the innocent encounter, intimate revelations, boy meets girl and what comes out of that. The rest is useless to me.

The ending is quite powerful, indeed probably the most powerful bit of the film. That’s probably because it uses the writing device i noted above to solve and finish the dramatic arc of the whole thing. The girl has a book where she collects pieces of magazines, photographs, newspapers, the material she uses to invent her sex centered life. The boy finds out all was an invention in the bed where she is rapped yes, but the bit where he relives her fantasies through the clip book was much more powerful to me. This makes partially up for the weaknesses and ineffectiveness of the rest of the film.

I think there was ambition here, the director is making his way (this is just his second film), but it failed to me. And i’m really pity it did, i came to this because i’m finding a life in films tackling films that depict women, and try to understand them, or give an interesting point of view on them (Medem is my master in this corner).

My opinion: 2/5

This comment on IMDb


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