The underrated Netflix movie that will amaze and mesmerize you for 110 minutes

The Spanish essayist Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936) rightly said that life is an oblivion. We have to choose what we want to remember, which less happy parts of our journey to sweep under the rug of memory, which circumstances to occupy within us a privileged part of our experiences. Human relations are full of forgettable situations, marked by humiliating episodes which, although they have given us great lessons in a more critical phase, only deserve the void of contempt. What other feeling can be both a source of delight and reproach if not love, the reliquary of the most precious treasures and the most ineluctable and deepest shames of the human race? Centuries pass, revolutions follow one another, wars decimate peoples in the name of honor and the maintenance of the civilizing regime, but the desire of man to love and be loved – far from rejection and overthrow of morality, obviously – is a presupposition that no one renounces.

Freely inspired by “Jacques le Fataliste et son maître” (1778), a novel by French Enlightenment artist Denis Diderot (1713-1784), Frenchman Emmanuel Mouret evokes a woman before the letter in “Mademoiselle Vengeance” (2018) , a story set in a time when ideas like feminism, empowerment, freedom of expression and even dignity were nothing but a chimera for women, inferior and naturally submissive beings, until until we get tired and decide to take revenge. This fable about bored aristocrats whose great pleasure it was to weave adulteries and other emotional traps throughout the 18th century is not coincidentally very similar to another symbol of French literature of the time, which does not only confirm the argument of the brutal elite hiding under silks. ostentatious hairstyles, an element that Anne Bochon values ​​in a meticulous work of reconstructing current fashion. In a world without the Internet or social networks, gentlemen of various strains dribbled the eslim, settling, as can be seen in “Ligações Perigosas” (1782), the typical soap opera, written by Choderlos de Laclos (1741-1803 ). ), this one ruthlessly cannibalistic by contemporary pop culture in postmodern pearls, like “Cruel Intentions” (1999), directed by Roger Kumble, and the very recent “Punishers” (2022), brought to the screen by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson .

Madame de La Pommeraye, the main character, is the rich widow, already in her years, but still beautiful, who retires from the court of King Louis 15 (1710-1774) to the luxury of a sumptuous estate in the French countryside. . Cécile de France gives this woman the versatility that the role requires, since, at the beginning of the story, the protagonist presents herself in a mixture of comfort and an almost paranoid feeling of self-protection, burned by unhappy relationships and not without some difficulties. withstand the onslaught of Edouard Baer’s Marquis d’Arcis, a consummate Casanova who shamelessly brags about his conquests, taking care to make each victim feel first and last. Baer perfectly absorbs the essence of the character, a fescenino who, like Sébastien Valmont de Laclos, knows very well how to take advantage of the vulnerabilities of others, especially when it comes to women. As often in the novels, events follow one another which allow the Marquis to prolong his stay in the property of Madame de La Pommeraye, who, thinking of facing a new man, more mature, more serene, more manly, finally yields to your charms.

In the imminence of the third and last act, Mouret adds the characters who give the grandiloquent conclusion to his scenario, always faithful to the pen of Diderot. Enter Madame de Joncquieres of the well-groomed Natalia Dontcheva, the once dignified noblewoman, but disgraced by becoming pregnant by another nobleman, who, as the Marquis d’Arcis did to Madame de La Pommeraye, had also abandoned her, and more importantly, his daughter, Mademoiselle de Joncquieres – the title in English also alludes to this character as responsible for driving the plot, such is her notoriety – played by the irresistible Alice Isaaz.

“Mademoiselle Vingança” retains the air of an 18th century soap opera by condensing the good twists of the plot in the conclusion, where De France reappears with the main role in the introduction, without the other types being erased. Some well-known people say stories like these are dated, “age badly” and syrupy. The hard news does not tire of denying them.


Film: Miss Vengeance
Direction: Emmanuel Mouret
Year: 2018
Gender: Dramatic romance novel
To note: 8/10

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