Fifteen years ago, eccentric director Bernardo Bertolucci released one of the most impressive films of the 21st century: The Dreamers (2003).
Like the fate of many experimental films, it boldly creates two extremely violent reactions, one of which is utterly utterly utterly uttered, and the other is overwhelmingly praised. Now, 2018, time has receded far, when looking back to The Dreamers one can be more calm, easier to evaluate and comment on this film.
Young student Matthew (Michael Pitt) came from a poor but passionate American family who decided to go to Paris to study French and to immerse himself in every genre of cinema in the world. Matthew is attracted by the twins Theo (Louis Garrel) and Isabelle (Eva Green) by their playful, stylish. At a student and artist protest against the decision to remove a filmmaker from the Institute for Cultural Archives, Matthew became acquainted with two people and was gradually drawn into a strange relationship that changed the child. uncle. From here, the dream of fading into each other, sobbing in a naked, flashy and artificial, sweet alternating between harsh. They go from one dream to another, dreaming of wandering between the virtual space next to the crumbling, bustling real world of a chaotic Paris in 1968.
Matthew tries to hide his sexual desires under the timid, he is naughty in real life relationships, living in dreams and the passion of cinema. Isabelle shrewd, daring, outspoken, but inside is a pure white creature, trying to cling to the remnants of childhood. He was too attached to Isabelle when he was still in the womb, and one day he realized that he did not find his own identity, but that he quickly chose to stay awake. dream with his sister. Three big children have a month together to play together, love and infatuation.
Bertolucci’s ingeniousness not only describes the dreamer, but the texture of the film is identical to that of a human sleep. The beginning of the film is the quiet moment for us to gradually fall asleep. They meet, joke, charmed with love with movies. At this point, humans are still suspended between awake and sleeping, still aware of what is going on around them. Matthew still recognizes the unusualities of the two brothers’ debate on film, art, and the time, but he tries to ignore it and eagerly enters into that relationship as we can not resist sadness. Sleep is pulling heavy eyelids and closing awareness.
The first minute Isabelle and Theo lead into their apartment is also when Matthew falls asleep. He is impressed by the close relationship that erupts between the father and son in this strange family, the way they dispute each other about philosophy, poetry and politics. Between the narrow corridors filled with bookshelves, figurines and movie posters, Matthew was in a dreamed paradise.
Then when the parents of the two brothers were away, the apartment became their dream destination, all the madness, the most ridiculous and the most exhilarated to show off. In between the deepest layers of sleep, dreaming comes. They are naked, having sex and drunk in crazy games. Nothing is impossible in the dream.
Sleeps dried out, people escape the dream to wake up gradually return to reality. Matthew learned to stand up, saying “no” to Theo, no longer blindly following blindly but showing the two cousins what they were living with, showing them the outside world. what And what will come, one must wake up, unless they rush into another sleep to live in a new dream.
The angle of rotation and the color of the film also reach the level of the master. The film as a work of artistic arrangement. We see hot colors like red, brown alternating with neutral and old-fashioned shades like black, gray, like the interwoven between real and virtual, between dreams and provinces. The first third of the film is a beautiful, glamorous Paris, romantic only with poetry, love and cinema dominate, where the kingdom of anxiety only revolves around the art and the movie is full of mystery.
The next third is an apartment where all three are wrapped together on an ivory tower literally and figuratively, where there are no boundaries that Matthew just wanted to run away and was urged to stay. The last part is when the room was filled with rubbish and the Parisian out of town, the city began to get ravaged by the crowd and ruined its peacefulness.
The angles slowly turn from the foreground and stop at one spot. It could be a dirty plate after a fun or a bunch of obstacles set up in the street by the protest. The side is the wilderness, the love story, the real ugly side, ruined. That is the dream.
At his first dinner at Theo’s home, he saw the scene of his argument with his father, who repeatedly criticized his father for failing to sign a petition opposing the Vietnam War or not speaking out about the French government’s squeeze. the liberal artists. Theo’s father told him to fight but stood outside, saying things he never really understood, “is a poet who uses his work to speak, not sign a petition” , it’s really a strong message that until the end of the film Matthew really understands.
By repeating what he read but never attended or actually have his own reflection. Matthew just let him know that if in the heart Believe in what he said he did not sit in the house. In the beginning, we were constantly engaged in nonviolent protest, the Chinese revolution, the order that led to social change. Matthew observes, “It is true that they hold books but only one book, what they say is repetition and that is not what they really understand,” it is a summary for Theo.
As for Isabelle, her whole life as a series of film scenes, she learned the lines, replaying the emotions and charisma of the actors in the film. Surprisingly, behind the mask is just a naughty little girl, like the doll room she tried to hide. Isabelle’s true love seems to only be for her twin brother. The scene she was angry when Theo went through the night with another woman or tried to rebuild the tent playing as young children to Theo and Matthew fun is the moment she actually left the makeup routine.
The stone thrown from the street into the apartment seemed to have awakened all three of the dream. But … only Matthew is awake and Isabelle and Theo choose to plunge into another dream to be dreaming and keep the baby inside. Matthew left them in the midst of an angry crowd preparing to confront the police. He left the two of them behind as if to leave the twisted mythical dream of staying in Paris forever.
Who was young, played with the immensity of the world does not know his path is where will be very penetrating with the three of them. There are times when living in harsh reality is so cruel but difficult to get into dreams is even more pitiful.