Wednesday, April 21, 2010

FILM REVIEW: Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky

Directed by Jan Kounen

The movie picks up from where Coco Avant Chanel left off. I haven't seen that one but I have a feeling I'm going to prefer that Chanel movie over this one.

The film begins with the opening in Paris of Stravinsky's highly controversial Rite of Spring. It was controversial because it was cosidered to be too modern for the audience who saw it. Most were clearly angered by it, shouting their insults mid-show. While some were mesmerised by it with a scattering of bravos and cheering. The opening was spectacular.

There was so much tension and energy in that room. There was this intense passion that flooded that theatre both from the artists who were performing in the show and the shocked audience members who were viewing it. That scene left me literally breathless.

Then it went downhill from there.

Unfortuantely the focus of the film was the "love" affair between Chanel and Stravinsky. It wasn't even love, it was just an affair. There was zero chemistry between these too and I didn't understand why they were so attracted to each other in the first place. It was meaingless sex scene after another. There were so many scenes that were just unnecessary, those long close-ups of the characters staring deadpan towards the camera was utterly futile and served no purpose at all and it happened roughly ten times in the movie (yes, I counted).

I would have preferred scenes showing the vast amount of  hard work both Chanel and Stravinsky put in their art. I liked the subplot of Chanel creating the legendary No. 5 perfume - I wanted to see more of that.

The other thing they should have focused more on was Stravinsky's wife and children. The affair destroyed their family and their lives and there wasn't enough screen time to really feel the drama. I wanted the camera to stay in that car that took the family away. I didn't want to be stuck with these two again, they were just so dull.

To be fair, the set design and costume design were brilliant, really captured that Chanel vibe - clean yet edgy, with a neutral colour palette. Anna Mouglalis' performance is worth the admission price alone, her portrayal was exactly how I imagined the real Chanel to have been like.

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