Comedy meets drama as Jean-Luc Godard brings life to a cinematic artwork and masterpiece in his film A Woman is a Woman. The feature delves into the recurring conundrum of Angela as she attempts to persuade her unwilling boyfriend, Émile, to have a child with her. Godard constructed an unconventional comedy on a whole new different level through the use of theatrical and playful elements woven into each and every scene. The various concoctions of conflict, drama, romance and comedy evident in the film create a harmonious balance of happiness and sadness highlighting Godard’s scintillating talent in the making of it.
As a mere comedic element to add to the film, Godard plays on the use of print and text as a method to elucidate more vividly the narrative or storyline of the film. This includes the use of text as a way of narrating the events of the film and the continuous imparting of dialogue through book titles which was evident at the very start of the film. This was seen during the scene where Angela was inside a bookstore looking for a magazine to buy. As she was looking at the magazine rack, the camera focuses on a pregnancy magazine that Angela was eyeing on. Godard has already given us a peek behind the curtains of the dilemma or conflict that our actors will be encountering in the film.
Another take on Godard’s film is his tremendous scoring that added depth and zest to the film. Not only did Michael Legrand did a great job in properly inserting the score to the most appropriate scenes in the film, he also was able to convey the feelings and mood of certain characters. When Alfred and Angela were on the phone, the scoring would be cut into several pieces as scenarios would switch from Angela’s to Alfred’s. Angela, at the time, who was feeling distraught and disappointed, was given a dull and almost empty scoring, while Alfred who was gladly talking to Angela on the phone was given a lively scoring with a mix of background noise. Other than the perfectly woven scoring of the film fit into several scenes contributed to the theatrical element that was evident, making it look like the characters were almost always about to burst in a song, ready to sing a musical piece.
A Woman is a Woman celebrates female empowerment and sexual-liberalist themes laced into its storyline that revolves around the incessant dilemmas a woman experiences in the midst of contradictions and oppositions against her needs and desires. In the film, Angela is portrayed as a classic archetypal woman who continues to experience the existing disruptive masculine behavior among the men she is surrounded with who impede her from having a child. Phrases such as “Women are the cause of suffering!” or “women always play the victim”, were used and uttered by Émile to Angela. Which is why, gender plays a pivotal role in Godard’s film as he chooses to empower women through Angela with her independent and liberated character that has eventually given her what she wanted at the start of film.
The title “A Woman is a Woman” was uttered at the end of the film after Angela finally got what she wants. This highlights the character of Angela as she achieved success in the end, for a woman is a woman and it doesn’t get any better than that.