Jean-Luc Godard’s avant-garde masterpiece, A Woman is a Woman, revolves around Angela, a strip tease dancer, and her desire to conceive a baby with her boyfriend, Emile. However, Emile is not exactly pleased with her idea, which only leads them to go on and on with Angela convincing him throughout the film with teasing, sneering and playful scenes that make it a film so full of life and high-spirited.
The mis-en-scene of the film depicted a play with vibrant colors and quite fashionable statements from that era as scene in Angela’s clothing choices and make up, which were strongly expressed throughout the film. I believe these were big factors as to why Angela was such a captivating character. I really liked the definition of the cinematography, with the jolly and lighthearted music in the background, at the same time putting a halt to this at certain parts of the film.
The strip club she works in is quite the concept. It’s quite different from the strip clubs one would envision, she walks in fully clothed, slowly undressing herself under a mood light. The spectators sitting quietly in a line of round tables surrounding the supposed “dance floor” with their drinks at hand. Angela gracefully dancing for a few minutes, she ends her “show” and departs the club, living a normal life on the streets. But the questions is, why was Emile completely fine and unbothered by the fact that his girlfriend is a striptease artist? Or was this just not an issue at all? Even when Angela was planning to sleep with Alfred in order to conceive a baby, he seemed to be strangely okay with it.
In addition, there is a sense of ridicule in its plot, which was expressed when she was cooking an egg, tossed it and dashed towards the telephone to answer the call, runs back a few moments later to catch the egg she tossed. There were also some parts of the film where there were a few questions unanswered. I wish they gave us a background on Angela and Emile’s relationship as well as Emile’s relationship with his best friend, Alfred.
It is definitely not your average romantic film, it was quite odd. There were moments throughout the movie that confused me, when the music would stop abruptly, what they were doing exactly in the scene before bed, where they were grabbing books. It took me quite some time to realize they were quarreling through the titles of the books since they did not want to speak to one another. In comparison to the films shown at present day, the central love story remains— the predicament a man and a woman would face in the relationship and how they would overcome this in the end. Love is complex, the movie was able to exhibit this in full color literally and figuratively; however, unlike most romantic films nowadays that leaves you bawling your eyes out frame by frame with cheesy pick up lines here and there, A Woman is a Woman had a different take on it with humor, mockery and a visual portrayal of jealousy. Maybe these inputs are what made this film so great.