Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Bride Wore Black (1968) Review

The Bride Wore Black poster
Director: Francois Truffaut
Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Michel Bouquet, Jean-Claude Brialy
Genre: Thriller, French New Wave

The Bride Wore Black is...an interesting film. It does a few things right, a few things wrong, and it's directed by the legendary Francois Truffaut.

It's about a bride who seeks revenge on the murderers who killed her husband on their wedding day. (Kill Bill much?)

She hunts down these men and kills them...which is cool, the only problem is that she kills them in extremely mundane ways. Pushing people off ledges and poisoning their drinks is not interesting. Maybe the film tried not to be very violent? But it would have benefited, because the entire film has a gritty, merciless feel to it. It's just boring deaths that are very unimaginative and anti-climatic. 

Jeanne Moreau, a very popular actress, really doesn't do a great job here. She plays a very unemotional, boring, detached character. I get that that's what they were going for, being that since she lost her husband she has no reason to live other than for revenge. It's just such a boring performance and you can't relate to her at all let alone sympathize with her revenge. She fails to be relatable or intimidating, which in turn makes it look like just really bad acting. 

Also the reason that the husband was shot, I won't spoil anything, was very random and dumb, and definitely not engaging at all.

I did think that the ending was really well done and the soundtrack was good. I also thought the film was pretty well written, with some really awesome dialogue. Unfortunately this wasn't enough to carry the film beyond anything more than okay. Also, the film's title is really cool.

This is definitely not Truffaut's best film, he has directed some amazing films but The Bride Wore Black is not one of them. Indeed even Truffaut himself says he doesn't like this film and blames his cinematographer for the film, Raoul Coutard, for the undesired outcome.

The Bride Wore Black bow and arrow

I think the only thing good that has come out of this film is the amazing song by Kate Bush, "The Wedding List", which was based on the plot of The Bride Wore Black.

It's an alright film. I can only barely recommend it though, especially since it's running time is slightly above average length. It's not terrible, but watch at your own risk.

3/5 stars

Purchase The Bride Wore Black on Amazon: DVD - VHS
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