Thursday, November 24, 2022

Une Fille Facile/An Easy Girl

Movie Name:
Une Fille Facile/An Easy Girl
Year of Release: 2019
Director: Rebecca Zlotowski
Starring: Mina Farid, Zahia Dehar, Benoit Magimel, Nuno Lopes, Clotilde Courau, Loubna Abidar, Lakdhar Dridi, Henri-Noel Tabary, Cedric Appietto, Mickael Migliorini
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6
Watch it on Netflix

Synopsis and Review
Director Rebecca Zlotowski who made a name for herself with the well received "Grand Central", followed that film with "Planetarium" with Natalie Portman and Lily Rose-Depp, which failed to ignite much interest or even good reviews. "Une Fille Facile" was the follow up, and premiered at the Cannes Film Festival where it was well received. The film follows the story of two cousins during a Summer in the Cannes area. Mina is the narrator and through her we learn that her cousin Sofia is visiting and has had to deal with a fair amount of challenges. Mina's mom is a cleaning lady, and Mina spends most of her time with her best friend Dodo, with both of them having some ambitions to go into acting. However when Sofia shows up, she starts disrupting Mina's tranquil existence, mostly because of her spontaneity and candid approach to flirtation, sexuality and seizing the moment. Sofia soon starts flirting with an older man by the name of Andres, who is enjoying the area in the company of his friend Philippe in an opulent yacht. And while the flirtation soon escalates to a slight affair, Mina who is only 16 also witnesses all from afar, trying to understand if this type of dynamics is indeed what is expected of women as they navigate relationships with men. She's simultaneously fascinated by the power Sofia, her beauty and approach hold over men, as she is slightly repulsed by what she thinks is the commodified aspect of those relationships.
"Une Fille Facile" is an interesting film in the sense that it illustrates the relationship between two young women, in a way that is non-judgmental or virulent in any way. While at a first glance it may be tempting to judge Sofia's character for her approach to relationships, Mina who is the narrator of the story, and who is in fact becoming an adult, manages to give a different side to Sofia's existence. And while to a certain extent Sofia's approach may be considered as the dark side of relationships which Mina gets to witness, and while there is indeed a commercialization of feelings and sexual intimacy, she also soon realizes that Sofia (and herself), have the power to choose what, when and how they want to do whatever concerns their actions, desires and appetites. The film and the script however does fail to render Sofia in a more compelling way, illustrating her for the beauty she is (much like Romy Schneider's in Jacques Deray's "La Piscine" or Ludivine Sagnier in Fran├žois Ozon's "Swimming Pool"), but never truly investigating or showcasing more beyond the facade. The observational aspect of the narrative is interesting, but it also registers the film as superficial and inconsequential, and not necessarily because there isn't a large epiphany for the characters, but mostly because in this particular journey they go on, and that we go on as viewers, there isn't much of a sense to who these women actually are. Mina Farid, Benoit Magimel, Nuno Lopes and the luminous Clotilde Courau do solid work, while Zahia Dehar fails to give more to the character than its obvious physical beauty. It's an interesting watch, though not necessarily a very memorable one.