HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Rupture, La Fracturing the Female Psyche
Year: 1970
Director: Claude Chabrol
Stars: Stéphane Audran, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Michel Bouquet, Annie Cordy, Jean-Claude Druout, Jean Carmet, Marguerite Cassan, Katia Romanoff, Dominique Zardi, Angelo Infanti, Mario David, Michel Duchaussoy, Catherine Rouvel
Genre: Drama, Thriller, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  10 (from 1 vote)
Review: La Rupture is one of Claude Chabrol’s most bonkers and brilliant thrillers. In place of his usual slow-building suspense, things kick off with an horrific burst of domestic violence. Drug-addled Charles Régnier brutally attacks his wife and son, and batters the little boy against the wall. Wife Hélène (Stéphane Audran) bashes Charles’ head with a frying pan and, after rushing her son to the hospital, files for divorce. But her father-in-law, Ludovic Regnier (Michel Bouquet) is a wealthy and powerful man. Having long disapproved of Charles marrying a former striptease dancer, Ludovic is determined to destroy Hélène’s reputation so he can gain custody of his grandson.

Hélène rents a room across the road from her son’s hospital, in a boarding house full of eccentric tenants including a trio of gossipy old ladies. It is run by the strict Madame Pinelli (Annie Cordy) whose husband (Jean Carmet) is a good-natured, but weak-willed alcoholic while their gawky and childlike daughter Elise (Katia Romanoff) is mentally handicapped. Meanwhile, Ludovic hires an oily acquaintance named Paul Thomas (Jean-Pierre Cassel) who deviously inveigles his way into Hélène’s life and tries to turn the other tenants against her. When Hélène’s lawyer (Michel Duchaussoy) speeds up the divorce proceedings, Paul hurriedly schemes to frame her for sexually molesting Elise and then dope her into a fatal car crash using a bag of drug-laced candy.

Grippingly surreal and unsettling from start to finish, yet laced with a streak of cracked comedy, this marvellous movie is based on The Balloon Man, a novel by Charlotte Armstrong whose book The Chocolate Web became the basis for a later Chabrol mystery-thriller: Merci pour le chocolat (2000). Typically, Chabrol fashions the genteel, elderly yet ruthlessly manipulative Regnier family into another scathing portrayal of the corrupt and corrupting bourgeoisie, yet tweaks the subtext still further into a cockeyed contemplation of what it means to play God. For while Ludovic Regnier (with the brilliant Michel Bouquet almost unrecognisable from the previous year’s La Femme Infidèle (1969)) leaves the dirty work to Paul and never sullies his own hands, he remains a monster whose tentacles reach everywhere and whose dislike of Hélène stems solely from class. Ludovic’s conscienceless meddling results in trauma and tragedy befalling an array of innocent (and notably mostly working class) parties, including his own son.

That said, as expertly played by Jean-Pierre Cassel, Paul Thomas emerges as one of the most odious of all Chabrol villains. Aided by his perpetually naked and horny girlfriend Sonia (an unforgettably delicious Catherine Rouvel), Paul reaches an all-time low when he kidnaps and drugs Elise. Subjected to a Satanic themed girl-on-girl 8mm porno reel, Elise is seduced by sexy Sonia in a scene that is more gleefully over the top black comedy than sordid - especially given that Elise reacts in a way counter to Paul's expectations. With an eerie ambience assisted by Pierre Jansen’s Theremin-enhanced score, this almost qualifies as a horror movie but Chabrol weaves in a considerable amount of pathos and humour thanks to the oddball supporting characters: genial and handsome Doctor Blanchard (Angelo Infanti) who seems a potential hero but always arrives to late to do anything except say hello; overly theatrical and self-aggrandizing actor Gerard Mostelle (Mario David) who actually turns out to be the most morally upstanding tenant; and those three twittering old dears who come good near the end and rush to Hélène’s aid out of a sense of sisterhood, while the villains’ carefully laid plans unravel in delicious fashion.

At the other end of the moral spectrum we have Chabrol’s wife and muse, Stéphane Audran, who is sublime as Hélène. The embodiment of goodness in a disordered universe, despite the haute bourgeoisie characters attempts to label her a harlot or a gold-digger, she remains stoic and incorruptible, even amidst the memorably drug-addled, hallucinatory climax.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 4762 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Claude Chabrol  (1930 - 2010)

A renowned director of French thrillers, he was one of the originators of the French New Wave of the fifties and sixties, often concentrating on middle class characters going through crises that led to murder, and made around fifty of these films in his long career. Starting with Le Beau Serge in 1958, he went on to direct such respected efforts as Les Cousins, The Champagne Murders, Les Biches, This Man Must Die, Le Boucher, Blood Relatives, Poulet au Vinaigre, a version of Madame Bovary with frequent star Isabelle Huppert, L'enfer, La Ceremonie, The Girl Cut in Two with Ludivine Sagnier, and his final work for the cinema, Bellamy with Gerard Depardieu.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Darren Jones
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: