Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Not so Goodtime

Le bonheur (1965) - Varda le bonheur François and Thérèse are young ideal working class couple with two adorable children, living in a provincial town. He’s a carpenter and she is an occasional dressmaker working at home. It’s all love love love happiness and happiness until he meets and starts having an affair with Émilie, a post office/phone clerk. He is happy with having two loves and Émilie contends with him being married. But what a girl to do, as long as her man is happy? The trio’s sunny happy lives come crashing down when he tells Thérèse about his affair, since he proudly says he doesn’t want to lie. He loves them both and happy with having more happiness. After seemingly agree with the arrangement and after they make love in the park near the lake, Thérèse drowns herself. After bit of mourning period, Émilie slides into Thérèse’s place and they continue to go on their lives with little changed.

Le bonheur is a really subversive film and a great counterpart to what was happening with male dominated French New Wave at the time - 1965. It's a film that challenges the patriarchal society's notion of happiness. Why does a woman's happiness always have to be tied to her man's? Why does she have to settle for what she has or be the one making sacrifices?

Shot in idyllic summertime w/sun-kissed photography, the film hides its real prodding intentions very well. Varda was much more than some frivolous artist Godard regarded her as.