Precious Bodily Fluids

5×2: Reverse Decay

One thing in common

This one, while evasive on certain levels, works well to wed form and content in a way that certainly “means” something. The word “wed” here may not be well chosen, since the film presents a universe in which anything like marriage is unworkable if not impossible. Ozon doesn’t seem to be crazy about people in general, perhaps especially straight men. Of course, here it’s not only the straight man who is uglified, but even the straight woman. The former needs to dominate violently, and the latter apparently needs to be on the receiving end of domination. Do they both “need” it, or is this just the only way available to them, is the question. Ironically/fittingly, this film was produced by a studio called “Fidélité.” Faithfulness is obliterated by perfidiousness in this narrative, as if, backwards or forwards, it’s bound to happen. The advantage of a reverse-chronological story is that we see the causes after the effects. This has a way of excusing characters, removing blame, and implying a kind of fatalism: what “will” happen already has happened, so what more is there to do than to investigate underlying causes and motivations? By reversing the timeline, Ozon also gives a happy ending to the film without giving a happy ending to the narrative. In so doing, he exposes the tendency of the “happily ever after” ending as naïve at best and dishonest at worst. One has to grant Ozon this point, on one hand, although it’s a point most effectively made by a cynic: happy endings are only possible through manipulation of real narratives, or, every sad ending had a happy beginning. Relationships may be damned before they’ve started, and if there’s any blame to be laid, it’s on the dude. Fair enough.

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This entry was published on May 8, 2010 at 9:25 am. It’s filed under 2000s Cinema, French Film and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “5×2: Reverse Decay

  1. I’m loving the new look of your blog.
    But anyway I love your blog full stop!

  2. Pingback: Swimming Pool: Needs Chlorine « Precious Bodily Fluids

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