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T500FC, 439th: The Golden Coach (Jean Renoir, 1952)

March.16.2011

I have been forever itching to watch Jean Renoir’s Grand Illusion. I ended up watching The Golden Coach, one of the memorable films Renoir has created. It is memorable in a sense that the movie mainly showcases the vulnerability of a woman in the eighteenth century. It occurred to me that the Western world two centuries ago was as liberated as their women of today.

The movie is about a woman of the theatrical arts who is being swooned by three different men of different statures. One is the leader of the acting band; the second one is a famous bullfighter and the other being a royal official of the said place. Aside from the story having the life of the woman, who is also the lead actress in that said acting group, it also entail of how the royal official bought the so-called golden coach and how it conveyed from him to the said woman.

This movie had a different feel in me. It started as something that I dare not to watch and it ended up as something I enjoyed. A big factor was the slight distaste on how the woman was portrayed in the film. Maybe I have been used to a lot of conventional Western films created in the U.S. that the films outside of it perceive a different sociological status.

The movie leaned on the melodramatic-screwball-ish side of the spectrum. Despite the language barrier, the visual treat of non-digitized colors surely transferred well especially to the parts where the acting group performed to the audience in the film. And to add, on how the lead actress was affected by the different people who saw her performance.

Though I really found the lead actress cheap and a quite predictable ending per se, there is something in the air, when I watched it, which made me forgive those things and instead focused on the much more fun parts of the movie. Even the different costumes in the film were quite impressive, running from the close to Mexican like clothes to the side of the royalty.

With such film’s length greatly increased by the introduction of the men to the lead actress, one can still enjoy this film. It may not be for all but definitely for the movie lover out there as it somehow showed the different side of the female gender.

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