Coming into this course, I expected to watch films that are different and unique compared to those that I usually watch. To start the course, A Woman is a Woman was the perfect movie to set the mood and my expectations for the rest of the films that we will be watching throughout the semester. It was visually playful, weirdly different, and entertaining. It was visually playful despite being released in 1961 since I initially expected it to look like the usual old films. I would consider this film to be weirdly different because it was not the typical story that I see in movies. The use of music, the unusual way that the movie was shot, the dialogues, and the times that the characters acknowledged the presence of the camera were some of the things that made the film different. One of the things that was quite disturbing for me at the start was the bursts of music that also stopped abruptly, which was a bit confusing for me since I did not see the point in it. For instance, one of the scenes that highlighted the play on music was when the soundtrack stopped whenever the character sings, which was very contradictory but somehow, it works when you look at the entirety of the film. In addition, Godard was able to add a comedic element to the movie to keep the viewers engaged and intrigued by whatever was happening.
The plot was also very different, portraying some of the qualities and cultural differences in European countries. Focusing on three main characters, Angela’s portrayal showed how she was desperate to have a child with Emile, her partner, who refused to have one. This led to her frustration throughout the movie which ends up with her sleeping with Alfred, Emile’s best friend, who liked her back. In the end, Emile realizes that he wanted to be the father if she bears a child so he also gives in. The ending perfectly showcased the title of a woman is a woman in terms of knowing what she wants and knowing how to get it regardless of whatever she has to do to get it. In my opinion, one of the problematic things in the film is a lack of the back story or the background of the characters to show how the story came about and why they act the way they do. It did not allow for the audience to really connect with the characters in the movie and sometimes drifted from its plot causing confusion and even unanswered questions for the viewers.
Godard portrays neo realism in this film as he focuses on the natural and realistic portrayal of things. This can be seen in the subtle mistakes that the director allows to be part of the film which added to the qualities that made it unusual in certain ways, but it works. Some scenes come out of nowhere and did not really explain why it became that way that was really confusing for me, but it surely left me intrigued. This also brought a funny aspect to the film that was enjoyable for the viewers despite its non-conventional methods, especially for me who loves movies and who wants to explore more types of films.
Despite being different, the movie was overall entertaining with the visual display and playfulness of the characters that brought life to the film. It was a great movie to start off the semester with and to give us a tease of what to expect in this film class.