French Exit Review: A Very European American Black Comedy Drama

French Exit Review: A Very European American Black Comedy Drama

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French Exit Review: A Very European American Black Comedy Drama. Michelle Pfeiffer's stunning performance as a depressed rich widow. 

“French Exit” (2020) is a Hollywood film adapted from the work of Canadian novelist Patrick deWitt. Tells the story of an upscale socialite widow in New York, Frances (Michelle Pfeiffer). She continues life after her husband dies with her son, Malcolm (Lucas Hedges).

The plan was that she wanted to die before her husband's inheritance ran out. However, he did not die while the finances were running low. Frances invites Malcolm and his cat to move to Paris, where he lives in his best friend's abandoned apartment.

This black comedy drama film has quite sensitive content, namely depression and suicidal tendencies. 'French exit' is a term taken from the culture of behavior in France. When someone leaves a dinner or party without saying goodbye, that's called a 'french exit' . Including attitudes that are ignored and seem disrespectful. So, what does this term have to do with the title of a depressed widow who moves to Paris?

Films About Depression with a Surreal and Quirky Concept

“French Exit” is a film directed by American director, Azazel Jacobs, adapted from a Canadian novel, but the vibe is very European. Not only because the film is set in Paris, France, but the scriptwriting, characterization, and comedy style feels more like European films than Hollywood.

Life dramas that are very American usually don't have this kind of characterization. Starting from the protagonist, Frances is a woman who initially looks depressed and annoying. Then Malcolm, Frances's son who is not clear what his principles are as a man. There are also gipsy women , private investigators , and several other unique supporting characters.

This film will demand the patience of the audience before throwing judgment on each character. Especially Frances Price as the protagonist who became the focus of the story "French Exit". Then understand his relationship with Malcolm, who also looks annoying in the first half. Not because of his actions, precisely because he is not clear what he wants.

This film is suitable for fans of life drama films with a gloomy feel, but also has a touch of taboo comedy. “French Exit” also contains some surreal scenes. But it makes it easier for us to understand a conflict. This film is also not a film that has a clear plot, but is more memorable because of the essence contained in the story.

Michelle Pfeiffer's Stunning Appearance as Leading Star

Michelle Pfeiffer is the perfect choice of actress to play Frances. A socialite who looks elegant and dignified, but lives in depression with every breath she takes. His depressive characterization model is quite similar to Tony, played by Ricky Gervais in "After Life" . Depressed and has suicidal thoughts, but does not appear as a melancholy and gloomy character. Instead, it looks 'ignorant' and outspoken in expressing his cynical opinion.

Even in adversity, Frances remains charming as a financially prosperous socialite. Even though he is getting bankrupt day by day. It was because of Frances' nature and motivation that made her act that way. Frances Price is a character that has many layers for us to reveal. Pfeiffer's perfect appearance will keep us captivated and persist until we understand what is the ultimate goal of the protagonist in this story.

The Meaning of the Film French Exit

As previously mentioned, “French Exit” is not a film with a generic plot. With a monumental chronology of events or scenes to mark something. As a film based on a novel, Frances' story is heavier in terms of the essence of the message to be conveyed. Not an inspiring story, in fact it is very sensitive and seems to support the negative goals that Frances has. But in this scenario, we understand the factors that led to the ultimate enlightenment like what Frances experienced.

This film also has the type of ending scene that makes the audience annoyed because it is not clearly revealed. But for those of us who have been able to watch a similar film, we can certainly understand why the closing scene was executed in such a way. Once again, this film is not about the beginning and the end, but what kind of understanding we get while listening to Frances' story. “French Exit” can be streamed on Netflix.

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