TV Times

‘Kings and Queen’: A relationship so close yet so far

The French cinematic creation 'Rois Et Reine' (Kings and Queen) will be screened at 3 pm on Tuesday November 25 and 6.30 pm on Wednesday November 26 at the Alliance Francaise, Barnes Place ,Colombo 7.

Directed by Arnaud Desplechin, the film won the Louis Delluc Prize, the French Syndicate of Cinema Critics Prix Méliès and the César Award for Best Actor. In addition, it was nominated for César awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Most Promising Actress and Best Writing.

Revolving around two people who find their paths crossing and their lives inextricably linked, the film was released in December, 2004.

Nora Cotterelle, a woman in her 30s is caring for her sick father, Louis Jenssens. While Nora tries to present a facade that all is well with her life, she is twice divorced and has a son, Elias, whose father is dead. Nora's present relationship is not going well, and she is soon to marry a businessman, while Elias is becoming increasingly withdrawn.

A parallel storyline follows her former lover and second husband, Ismaël Vuillard, a musician, with whom she had lived for seven years. He is given to strange behaviour, and as a result he has been committed to a mental hospital, from which he is planning to escape. Nora learns that her father's digestive problems are actually cancer, and facing her father's death, Nora desperately seeks out Ismaël to ask that he reconnect with Elias, but he has mixed feelings about adopting her son. Moreover, he has met Arielle, another patient.

Kings and Queen has been drawing mostly rave reviews from French critics and some have even called it "the best French film of 2004".

At once simple and complex, the film certainly seems to plunge great depths, and often takes the viewer in a totally different direction from what he or she was expecting. For example, the story of Ismaël (Mathieu Amalric), the man maybe wrongly thrown into a mental institution for a few weeks, doesn't end up being the harrowing (or even heartwarming) tale it could, but is rather mostly funny, in an absurdist way. One of the interesting things about the film is that both of its storylines exist more or less separately from each other, linked only by a few scenes, characters, and memories in common. Thus, Ismaël's story would have made a fine film in itself.

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