Magazine article Herizons

Water Lilies

Magazine article Herizons

Water Lilies

Article excerpt

WATER LILIES

DIRECTED BY CELINE SCIAMMA

REVIEW BY MAUREEN MEDVED

Water Lilies is in the tradition of great French films that explore female sexuality in extreme (read: honest) ways - a tradition that includes films such as Fat Girl by Catherine Breillat and Innocence by Lucile Hadzihalilovic.

Water Lilies is a well crafted and beautiful film, mannered and nuanced with the tone and style associated with the best of European cinema. While the film teases us with the promise that it will mine dark passages, it retracts that promise halfway through and, by the end, proves emotionally unsatisfying.

During the first half of the story, the power play between the protagonist Marie and Floriane unfolds. Marie is obsessed with Floriane - who plays the role of town slut but is really a virgin. So obsessed is Marie that she is willing to do anything to feel close to Floriane.

The nexus of drama is conflict, and the film is interesting as long as Marie is obsessed with Floriane, trying to win her approval and, at times, debasing herself to Floriane's disgust. The drama continues as Marie dumps her chubby friend, Anne, forthe more glamorous Floriane.

By the midway point, Marie and Floriane become friends, and later Marie and Anne renew their friendship. It's all very nice. Sweet. Healthy. At the end, we return to the film's earlier promise, but it is too late: The spell is broken.

Maybe Water Lilies is a teen version of Death in Venice. However, while Death in Venice manages to go all the way with the subject of debasement as a trophy on the alter of obsession. …

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