Movie Review by S Felce
Starring: Michael Pitt, Louis Garrel, Eva Green, Robin Renucci, Anna Chancellor
Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
Much has been said about THE DREAMERS after it was presented at the Venice Festival in September 2003 and director Bernardo Bertolucci says it’s about “the spirit of ’68”, but the fascinating thing about THE DREAMERS is exactly that it can be read in different ways.
The story is based on Gilbert Adair’s 1988 novel THE HOLY INNOCENTS. While in Paris in 1968, American student Matthew (Michael Pitt) meets beautiful twins Isabelle (Eva Green) and Theo (Louis Garrel). They get together during the first youth riots over the closure of La Cinematheque Française and become friends. When the twin’s parents go off on holiday Matthew is invited to move into their Paris apartment. While history is being made outside on the streets by the youth insurrections of ’68, the three of them stay in the apartment, exploring and experimenting their sexuality with each other, talking about cinema and discussing revolution. Finally one day the revolution will knock at their door and it will then be time for each of them to make different choices that will affect the paths their lives take.
Watching this film you may be trapped by the three-character love triangle, by their curiosity in exploring each other, by the powerful and morbid relationship between the twins and Mathew’s obsession with both of them. The three actors are amazing, especially Green, whose beauty and sensuality fills every scene. You may just love the constant referrals to French cinema, which are actually intertwined into the film, edited within the scene, while Isabelle, Theo and Matthew, devoted cinephiles, discuss them. You may, however, hate what actually happened in 1968 – the demonstrations in the streets, the fights with the police, the thousand of young people who took to the streets to made their voices heard – but they just appear at the beginning of the film to come back only at the very end.
Everything is orchestrated so well in the film that one has to enjoy it for what it is, without any preconception or morality. This film looks like a long dream and the protagonists are in fact dreamers. At the end these dreamers will have to choose whether to fulfil those dreams and take action or leave them, as they are, just beautiful and perfect ideas.
One question strikes me more than anything else watching the film. What really is the beauty of a dream? Is it to fulfil it or just talk about it endlessly?