For Reel

Unforgivable (2011)
March 28, 2012, 4:57 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: André Téchiné

Adapted from Philippe Dijan’s novel, Unforgivable‘s dense, exorbitant plot could only work in the hands of a filmmaker as assured as André Téchiné. Working consistently since the late-1960s, the post-New Wave filmmaker has carved out an admirable reputation for himself with a number of films that approach the complexities of human emotion. Unforgivable, following a crime novelist, a real estate agent, an ex-convict, a lesbian private detective, and a drug-trafficking aristocrat, certainly spreads a wide canvas with which to explore, and Téchiné’s quick pace and always-active camerawork deftly constructs a story of delirious convolutions. To title the picture Unforgivable almost seems ironic. The way that these characters torture each other would seem to provide ample justification for lasting bitternesses to fester between them, however as Téchiné jumps ahead months in time, he deprives the audience of the climactic confrontations that one might expect. In one scene, for instance, a character is nearly killed by another while he is stranded at sea on a motorboat. Later, the same characters converse as if it had never happened. While this has little to do with forgiveness, it suggests the impermanence of grudges in a morally degraded culture – a world where self-preservation, above all, is of paramount importance. All is fair in love and war, as the cliché goes.


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