french films > The intruder

The intruder

The intruder

cast: Michele Subor, Gregoire Colin, Bambou

year: 2004

colour: yes

certificate: 15

director: Claire Denis

runtime: 130

Two things haunt you throughout L'intrus (The Intruder): who's the intruder and is it a movie or a dream you're watching? The ending is so shocking that for a while you're at a loss for an answer to either of those questions. The intruder pops up as different characters, different men in different circumstances who don't belong in the scene, so they're expelled from it, kindly or brutally, but often without emotional involvement. The main character, Louis, is a contemptible man. He's got rough ways, some mean job and no heart. He needs one and goes after it. He has a heart transplanted and afterwards decides to start a new life. Can this man succeed in his quest for redemption? A guy like that could cut your throat at the drop of a hat. You know it but Claire Denis doesn't encourage you to judge him. Occasionally, there's a young Russian woman -a beautiful girl who seems to inhabit someplace between heaven and earth - who does judge him. She may even punish him. But not Denis. There's the character played by Beatrice Dalle who wants no business with him: don't touch me, she says. But Denis lets this man be himself, films him in his self-absorbed quest. I don't know if what she films is the heart or the mind but it isn't the traditional plot basics. Whatever she films, you get it in the end. You know who's "the" intruder, you know why, more or less, and some scenes come back to your mind with their full meaning. But was it a movie or a dream?

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