Indeed, this European film was a strange one. The disclaimers given before watching the movie about European films being somewhat “weird” were proven by Jean-Luc Godard’s award winning movie, A Woman is a Woman. Despite the film being strange, the various elements showcased in the movie, such as the piano background that plays and suddenly stops, the play of lights, perfectly shot scenes and backgrounds, the consistent red tones, etc., worked together beautifully to create the masterpiece that it is. It was a movie that made me want to keep on watching albeit having to read the subtitles all the way from the back of the room.
The film brought a new perspective on love. It depicts love as a very playful, childish, and quirky concept. The movie surely strayed away from typical romantic comedy films wherein the male character is the one who chases the female. Despite Emile continuously rejecting Angela’s desire to become pregnant, their relationship can be described as an open relationship because of the lack of exclusivity. Emile did not see any problem with the fact that his girlfriend strips in a club. He was even fine with the thought of Angela and his best friend, Alfred, sleeping together. Being raised in this conservative Filipino society, I got pretty confused. This made me think, are European relationships really this open? But maybe it’s just the strange plot of the film. It took a while for me to realize their routine before going to bed—using book covers to communicate a message with each other. At first, I thought they were just competing with one another whether who can read the most books within the night. When I finally understood, I found it funny. It is probably through being tricksy and prankish with one another that they are able to make their strange relationship work. I believe this teaches us an important thing about love: that there’s always something unique, may it be inside jokes or quirks, that leaves both parties wanting more of each other even in the face of problems.
Also, Anna Karina portrayed Angela in such a way that made her a model of women empowerment. The way Angela strolled the Parisian streets with so much confidence and regard for herself, the way she put on her make-up and did her hair, the way she dressed and carried herself, the way she asserted herself and knew what she wanted, the way she messed up on cooking for Emile, and most importantly, the way she found no problem in her job as a stripper, all emphasized Angela’s fierce femininity and womanhood. Angela’s strong female character inspires women to be as confident as she is in her own skin. She somehow proves that not all women can do domestic chores like cooking for her boyfriend/husband and instead, focus on a non-conventional, sexual and seductive career that exposes her feminine body, yet this does not make her any less of a person. She is still able to live her life the way she wants and make everyone fall on their knees. It’s truly quite a tragedy for people who get in her way.