La moustache

La moustache
D: Vincent Lindon, Emmanuelle Devos, Mathieu Amalric
R: Emmanuel Carrère
Release: 15 May 2005 at the Cannes Film Festival
Durată: 1h 25 min
Gen: Drama, Mistery

Emmanuel Carrère wrote and directed this Ile-de-France-based drama, starring Vincent Lindon as the protagonist. The movie opens with Marc, a 30-something Parisian, taking a bath and deciding to shave off his mustache. His wife, Agnés (Emmanuelle Devos) isn’t very pleased about it since she never saw him without his mustache. After he gets rid of it, no one seems to notice, his wife and friends tell him that he never even had one! Marc is now very confused. He finds photos of himself with a mustache but no one actually believes him.

There are two possibilities: either Marc is going slightly insane or there’s a bit of a conspiracy going on between his wife and his friends. The film reminded me of another French movie, Swimming Pool, where Charlotte Rampling has trouble differentiating fantasy from reality. But the dissimilarity is that Carrère shows you the continuous struggle of a man losing his identity as opposed to François Ozon that gives it all up in the end.

Marc and Agnés are getting ready for dinner with some Agnés’ ex-boyfriend, Serge (Mathieu Amalric) and his Russian wife, Nadia. Marc is taking a bath and he’s shaving so he asks his wife what would she think about him shaving that mustache off too. Agnés replies that it would be very difficult for her because she’s always known him like this, but he does it anyway. Agnés leaves for only a couple of minutes but when she comes back she doesn’t notice his mustache is gone. Thinking it’s all a joke, Marc doesn’t say anything.

Neither Serge, Nadia, nor Bruno (Marc’s co-worker) seem to notice his mustache missing and this is when he starts to feel a bit frustrated. He gets in a fight with his wife, after which he starts digging up the trash in search of some facial hair. He comes madly back and shouts at his wife, who becomes very frightened. Another weird episode happens when Marc listens to a voice message from his father saying that they were invited to lunch the next day, but Agnés says his father’s been dead for a year now.

As exciting as it may sound, the film got a bit stupid when he didn’t confront his wife about all the pictures with him having a mustache. Instead, he asks a total stranger about the differences between two photos of himself. While watching, especially in the end, I tried to convince myself that the really story was about this man losing his identity, having a mid-life crisis, going away to find out who he really is. But still, there’s such a cliché in the end… It reminded me of Steven Seagal’s movies: he runs off to China, where he hides in a small village and finally finds his true self… Come on!!

La moustache won the Label Europa Cinemas at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005 and Vincent Lindon won Best Actor at the Chlotrudis Awards in 2007.


By Andreea Tancof

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