Amour

STORY: This movie is the story of Georges and Anne, a retired octogenarian couple who once taught classical music. One morning at the breakfast table, Anne has a silent stroke, as a result of which her right side is paralyzed. What follows is an exquisitely crafted portrayal of one of the many meanings of love. REVIEW: A group of firemen break open the door to the apartment that Georges ( Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne ( Emmanuelle Riva) shared. One of them finds Anne’s corpse on a bed. Strewn around her are dried flowers that were once fresh. She is alone, the room is neat and well-lit. It is a scene that manages to be unsettling, yet conveys a quiet dignity and serenity. And in that sense, the conclusion of this film is deliberately conveyed from the initial scene, just like a visual metaphor for the circle of life. It then rewinds back to a time when the couple enjoyed the occasional outing, like attending a classical concert. The last show they watch has one of their past students playing a beautiful piano concerto.

Then, Anne’s stroke one fateful morning, which is probably the eeriest part of this movie, is a watershed moment in their lives. The portrayal of their re-aligned equation is dealt with remarkably. It is almost heartbreaking to watch how Georges stoically copes, no matter the odds. His patience is sometimes tested – he is only human, after all – but his devotion to Anne never flags. She feels guilty that she has become a burden, but he gently reassures her. Their daughter visits often and is deeply anguished on seeing the progressive deterioration of her mother’s physical and mental condition, especially when Anne suffers a second stroke. This movie has some heartbreaking moments and is moving, but on the lighter side, it is also somehow reassuring that we are never alone. Amour treats the subject of love in a manner that has seldom before been visited on screen.

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