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Love if you Dare by Yann Samuell

By Rebecca Connell

A film by Yann Samuell
Starring Guillaume Canet and Marion Cotillard

Running time:93 minutes
French with English subtitles
To view the trailer
To view where the film is shown, Click here

I am writing this review still in a trance having seen the film two hours ago. The words that spring to mind when trying to describe it are: naive, beautiful and at the same time very, very real. Indeed these are the words that the director Yann Samuell had in mind when writing this story of two children who share a childhood game of daring that grows with them, as they get older, until it reaches extremes. As their feelings for each other get more sensual and passionate they struggle to find dares that match them in perversity in a bid to keep close to each other but at the same time to hide their emotions behind.

Yann Samuell took a risk in making this film as it would have been very easy, had he made the slightest mistake, for the audience to get increasingly frustrated with the characters whom we can tell from the beginning are paving a road for themselves to self destruction. This, however, is not the case. Guillaume Canet (the Beach) and Marion Cotillard (Big fish, Taxi 1/2/3) are so endearing in their portrayals of Julian and Sophie that we find ourselves quickly taken in by their games. They are so fragile as characters that we are not able to reprimand them for their actions, as the rest of the world around them does, but only want to shield them from the world . For it does not take very long to realise that the dares they set themselves do not stem from impertinence (which is what you first think) but because, as young children, this complicity was the only way they could isolate themselves from the things that were happening (Julian's mother dying and Sophie's poverty) and express their feelings for each other. As they get older, their reluctance to cease these games is due to their fear that if they do stop they will lose the naivety and the principle that their relationship was first based on and in doing so will also lose each other. No matter how much they hurt themselves through these childish games, they continue to accept each other's dares which, above all, are a sign of commitment to each other.

The successful transmission of the scripts naivety and innocence onto film is not, however, solely due to Canet's and Cotillard's fantastic performances but also due to Yann Samuell's great skill as a director. He chose to have the well known French song "la Vie en Rose" played, in different versions, throughout the film. He says that this was for the song's naivety and romantic air, because "when we listen to it, we can imagine a child singing it". But also for its old fashioned charm and the fact that it is slightly cliché which he thought would add to the naive effect of the film, which indeed it does. Its ambiguity exacerbates the central aspect of the film: at the beginning the characters are young children in an adults world and later, adults needing to cling on to the childish simplicity of their games.

  There is little else I would like to add if not to strongly advise you to go and see `Love me if you dare'. I can guarantee that you will not be disappointed. You will laugh and you will cry and you will be left on alert as any good film should do. And furthermore, you will not feel a sense of "déjà vu".

Highly recommended!

To view the interviews in French with Yann Samuell, Guillaume Canet and Marion Cotillard, click here


14/09/2012 - akbarimetal said :

Pin my tail and call me a donkey, that really hepeld.


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