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November 20, 2016

Movie Review: Murmur of the Heart (1971)

Murmur of the Heart(Le Souffle Au Coeur) is movie in the "coming of age" realm.  Fourteen year old Laurent(Benoit Ferreux) is the main character and he gets into all kinds of mischief.  Hustling on the streets for the Red Cross, stealing jazz albums from the local music shops, smoking, drinking, being hit on by a priest and more.  There were aspects of this film I really enjoyed and others that left me upset.  This review goes into detail in some aspects so if you have not seen it and do not want to be spoiled fully, please do not read past the next paragraph.

What I do like about Murmer of the Heart is the progression of Laurent.  He comes from a well to do family but it is a family that has their own issues.  Laurent's father(Daniel Gelin) doesn't show much affection, the mother(Lea Massari) shows entirely too much affection, and the two older brothers(Fabian Ferreux and Marc Winocourt) are just out to have a good time throughout(almost like sexual deviant versions of the twin Weasleys from Harry Potter).  Unlike the Weasley boys, by good time, I mean sexually harassing the maids, comparing penis sizes, getting Laurent drunk, taking their younger brother to a brothel and then interrupting the act.  We will get into the relationship with the mother shortly.

Later in the film, young Laurent is found to have a heart murmur and requires extra special care.
 Under unusual circumstances, Laurent must stay in a hotel with his mother and father.  This is where we get much more into Laurent and his mother's odd relationship.  She is very loving but she is also unhappy at home.  Laurent has seen his mother leave with another man at home and he also knows of this person coming to their hotel room.  Laurent loves his mother and supports her decisions.  That love goes to other extremes as Laurent goes to the hotel room when his mother leaves with her undercover lover and puts on her undergarments.  We later find that the man his mother was having the affair with did not want to continue.   Lea Massari is a beautiful woman and it is played up in this film.  Every man and boy wants to be with her and this upsets Laurent.  This all culminates on Bastille Day where, during the celebration, multiple men are vying for the affection of Laurent's mother.  The two of them leave drunkenly back to the hotel room.  It's just the two of them and they show each other how much they love each other the way no mother and son should.  Oddly enough, neither is ashamed.  The mother, realizing what happened, lets Laurent know it can't happen again although she will look back at it as something beautiful.

The progression throughout this movie was shot wonderfully and that was the aspect I really enjoyed.  Unfortunately, I figured there was going to be some sort of incest in this film the way the boys played with each other and the smothering nature of the amazingly attractive mother.

I received this movie in the Boxwalla Film Subscription Box.  You can read my reviews of those boxes at HelloSubscription.

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