22 of #52FilmsByWomen: Mon Roi

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Mon Roi (My King) (2015, directed by Maïwenn, written by Etienne Comar and Maïwenn)

[No. 22 of 52 in #52FilmsByWomen]

It seems that almost every story about long term relationships and marriages tell us that they all inevitably end in disaster. The message I seem to get from all this is that it isn’t worth it. That might well be only the surface reading of all these films. The princess and the prince do not live happily ever after. Instead they have kids, argue about money, their parents, and grow resentful. Obviously we are supposed to go for a more positive interpretation, namely that love and relationships isn’t easy. And that we need to work hard at happiness. Whatever that is.

Mon Roi is one such story that inhabits the opposite end on the spectrum from 6 Years. Unlike 6 Years, the couple in question is not a young couple whose lives begin to diverge as they progress into adulthood. Instead, it’s two older people whose different lives intersect and they struggle through the years to stay together.

Movie is set in a framing story of Marie-Antoinette Jézéquel, or simply Tony (Emmanuelle Bercot), a criminal lawyer who injures her leg at a ski accident, and she stays for a few weeks in a medical center while going through physiotherapy. The relationships is told through flashbacks as she struggles trough the therapy, and befriending the other patients there.

The relationship in question is with a rich restaurant owner Georgio (Vincent Cassel). He leads a sort of a Bruce Wayne/Tony Stark-type billionaire-playboy lifestyle. Going on spontaneous trips, hanging out with supermodels, and hosting loud parties. The actors show genuine chemistry especially when they first meet. In those early stages of their relationship, Vincent Cassel is unbelievably charming and funny as Georgio, taking Tony along in a thrilling adventure of a relationship. This is almost almost makes him the male equivalent of the manic pixie dream girl.

As the viewer already expect from the frame story, things do will not go well for them. Their relationship turns sour, as the very fun and spontaneity of Georgio in small doses immaturity and irresponsibility in the long term. Their relationship soon devolved into an abusive and toxic one. And it keeps getting worse.

The quarrels and fights are as realistic and believable, thanks to the performances of the actors. This is definitely not a fluffy, entertaining rom-com, as the couple sitting behind me in the cinema was probably expecting.

 

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