Tuesday, June 09, 2009


Alain Delon and Romy Schneider (pictured) are a beautiful young couple summering at a St. Tropez villa; we don't know too much about them except that he's feeling a bit vulnerable because a slowdown in his writing career. After some scenes of the two sunbaked beauties lolling around the pool and making love now and then, a visitor arrives: an older friend of Delon's (Maurice Ronet) and his waifish teenage daughter (Jane Birkin). They are welcomed somewhat reluctantly as houseguests (Delon suspects that Ronet and Schneider were lovers many years ago), and the tension level rises when Birkin lets slip to Delon that her dad said he could get Schneider back anytime he wants. Delon plans his revenge, first by having sex with Birkin, and then by plotting Ronet's murder. This has Hitchcockian thriller elements, but it plays out too slowly to really be a thriller. In its focus on male competition and jealousy, it reminded me of Roman Polanski's KNIFE IN THE WATER, another film about a younger man competing with an older man for a woman's attentions, with potentially deadly consequences. This is far too long at 2 hours to really hold its tension; it would play much better edited down to a tight 80 minutes or so, but Delon, as always, is sexy as hell, as is Schneider, who, years earlier, was Delon's real-life lover. The turning point of the film, a scene in the pool between Delon and Ronet, is excellent, but it takes too long to get there. This is part of a recent boxed set of Alain Delon films from Lionsgate, and I'll get around to a couple more of the films soon. [DVD]

No comments: