A Woman is a Woman by Jean-Luc Godard
When our professor explained that this would be the first movie that we would watch, talking about how the plot was on a woman (a prostitute nonetheless) who wanted to get pregnant, yet her husband did not want a child (so she slept with someone else) was kind of easy to understand. A “neorealism musical” was a heavy term to swallow right off the bat. The musical part I got but neorealism? A modified form of reality? I have never watched a movie that would present itself as ‘neorealist’ At first thought, okay? so what? What would be so special about this movie that it would make it the very first movie we would watch on a class on European Films? The plot was not anything about Europe as a culture or something that was specific to just the continent. It was a story I could see anywhere else, why would we have to watch this one specifically? But then the first few minutes started, and I realized I had no idea what I was talking about at all.
The beginning was loud. Big fonts that took up the entire screen with bright colours, presenting the actors, the director, producers, and the like. It was all very theatrical. And upon us meeting the protagonist, Angela, she herself was wearing white, seemingly standing out against the other people around her. As the film progressed I realized how different and divergent it was from the usual films that I have watched in the past. Full of random fourth wall breaking, cuts in the musical score when Angela would be talking on the phone with her husband, Emile, to a magical door that when walking through it would mean an automatic change of clothes. The movie turns into more than just a string of scenes telling a story, but it becomes a piece of moving art. Not to say that most movies are not art itself but there was a way in which the movie created the scenes, the score, the dialogue (or even the lack here of), the colours used, everything was important to make the story a visual spectacle for the viewer.
What made me love the movie in the end were the last few scenes. After realizing that Angela has slept with someone else, Emile (with Angela’s help) decide to have sex as to perhaps cancel out the fact that she may be having someone else’s baby. They realized how great of a plan this is until after Emile finally realizes that Angela tricked him into finally having a baby. “Damn you, woman,” Emile says. “Not damn me, but dame me,” Angela replies and faces to the audience to wink at the camera. That last scene for me helped wrap up the entire movie and helped encompass the title of the movie, A woman is a woman. A woman who knows what she wants in life and how to get it no matter what the cost. A woman is a woman. What else can she be?