Thursday, March 21, 2013

See the Sea




Written and directed by Francois Ozon, Regarde la mer (See the Sea) is the story about a British woman who lives alone in the French seaside while her husband is away at work where she takes in a homeless drifter. The fifty-two minute film is an exploration into manipulation and how things can go wrong though one’s actions. Starring Sasha Hails and Marina de Van. Regarde le mer is a chilling yet evocative film from Francois Ozon.

What happens when a lonely woman with a baby takes in a stranger into her home while she waits for her husband to return? That is the idea of the film as it explores a woman’s loneliness and her desperation to connect with someone as she is on holiday. Yet, the young woman she invites to pitch her tent at the home for a few days is a very mysterious individual. Notably as she’s just a drifter who isn’t very open to others while being quite nonchalant about everything else. Still, the drifter is curious about this woman with a baby as does the older woman who is interested in revisiting her youth. Francois Ozon’s screenplay explores the dynamics of these two very different women in the span of a few days as a housewife is waiting for her husband to return. While this housewife is trying to fulfill herself sexually and emotionally, the drifter she meets is definitely from a very different world.

Ozon’s direction is very stylish for the way he presents a woman on holiday at the Ile d’Yeu in France as Ozon creates a lot of subtle yet lingering images of the sea while shooting scenes inside this house where it’s just a woman and a baby. While a lot of the shots remain still and naturalistic, there is this air of style in the presentation in a scene where this drifter walks around a supermarket. There are also some moments where things are unsettling that involves some of the anti-social habits of this drifter that will gross viewers. Still, there is an air of suspense that occurs late in the film during a conversation where the drifter asks the other woman about giving birth that leads into some provocative questions. The film’s ending is definitely shocking in what happens as the overall work by Ozon is a gripping yet mesmerizing film about loneliness and desire.

Cinematographer Yorick Le Saux does excellent work with the film‘s colorful cinematography from the look of the locations to the low-key lighting schemes with some stylish filters for some of its nighttime interior scenes. Editor Jeanne Moutard does nice work with the editing to maintain a straightforward cutting style to play out some of the drama that occurs while using slow, methodical cuts for its suspense. Production designer Cecile Vacheret does terrific work with look of the home as well as the drifter‘s tent as well as a graveyard she visits late in the film. Sound editor Gilda Fine is superb for the intimacy it creates in some of the film‘s interior scenes and the scenes on the beach. The film’s music by Eric Neveux is wonderful as it’s low-key in its plaintive yet enchanting string-based score to play out some of the film’s melancholia.

The film’s cast is brilliant as it features appearances from Paul Raoux as the husband and Samantha as the baby Sioffra. The film definitely belongs to its leads in Sasha Hails and Marina de Van in their respective roles as Sasha and Tatiana. In the role of the lonely housewife Sasha, Hails brings a very quiet and charming performance to a woman seeking something to curb her loneliness. In the role of the drifter Tatiana, de Van is more low-key while some of the dialogue she says is quite frank to establish her moodiness as well as her dark demeanor.

Regarde la mer is an enriching film from Francois Ozon. The film is definitely one of his early triumphs that would lead the way to some of the colorful imagery and intrigue that he would create in some of his later films. It’s also a very quiet and understated film that establishes the dynamics of two women seeking something to fulfill their lives. In the end, Regarde la mer is a fantastic film from Francois Ozon.

Francois Ozon Films: Sitcom - Criminal Lovers - Water Drops on Burning Rocks - Under the Sand - 8 Women - Swimming Pool - 5x2 - Time to Leave - Angel (2007 film) - Ricky - The Refuge - Potiche - In the House - Jeune & Jolie - (The New Girlfriend) - The Auteurs #33: Francois Ozon

© thevoid99 2013

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