What stood out for me in this film is its use of episodes throughout the film that interrupt the main story for its subplots. There are scenes that just jump from one setting to an entirely different setting with different characters, and we do not see the correlation between those scenes. One example is during the first part of the film, when Paul meets Madeline for the first time in a cafe, and then the woman shoots her husband for leaving with the child. After she shoots him, the scene just changes to another setting wherein Paul meets his friend in another restaurant. Even though I did not find the plot that exciting, the random sequences kept me interested because of how strange the scenes were, and we see this in the first part when the woman shoots her husband. The couple had no connection with Paul and any contribution to the story, and yet that was how the scene ended. We also see how the story progresses slowly and how the characters are not particularly active towards a goal. The episodes in the film just show the everyday life of Paul and his friends concerning love and politics, and they do not have big events that alter the course of the film.
The prop that stood out for me was the cigarette because Paul smokes in majority of the film. Not only is Paul smoking a lot in the film, but he also smokes in a way to impress people around him and make him look cool. One example is during the scene in the bowling place when he sees Madeleine and her friend come, and then he gets his cigarette and flips it to his mouth. The manner in which he puts it to his mouth is unnecessary, and the only reason he is doing that is to catch Madeleine’s attention. Another instance is when he and his friends ate in the restaurant, and they see the German and the prostitute and another adult couple smoking. After seeing these people, Paul brings out his cigarette and flips it again to his mouth. The cigarette reveals Paul’s character as a typical young man who wants to impress girls and look cool through the means of smoking. He also uses smoking as a means to appear mature to Madeleine because smoking is seen as an adult thing, and we see majority of the characters that smoke are adults in the film.
The acting of Madeline caught my attention because even though she is romantically involved with Paul, I did not see her showing that much affection and attention to him. An example is when he went to the studio with her friend to visit her singing, and after he entered the room where she was singing, she did not mind him. We can also see in the many interactions between Paul and Madeleine that she doesn’t really emote as if she doesn’t really care. This acting gives the impression that Madeleine isn’t sincere in her relationship with Paul and most probably just thinks of herself. We can see evidence of Madeleine’s dishonesty in the bathroom scene wherein she has her first real conversation with Paul, and she admits it herself that she has lied. Another instance is when she was having her interview after her recording, and states that she rarely wears makeup but we know that isn’t true.