A married man, part of the Parisian bourgeoisie, kills his lover. This lover happens to be his best friend’s wife and his wife’s friend. There is no specific moment in this movie, or climax, that I’d like to go into. The film consists of a string of moments of casual despair in a monotone life. The main subject of the movie is plain principle: Should I be honest or not?
The lover asks to be gagged for sexual pleasure. It is not clear if her death is an accident, as he doesn’t have an obvious reason to do it. He seems bored, annoyed, stoic, the border between premeditated act and accident is not clear. Eventually he leaves the scene, without trying to clean up any traces. At this point, we don’t know anything more. This situation is in limbo. He doesn’t seem to understand what happened. He leans neither towards admitting guilt or trying to cover it up, hiding, trying to save himself. He is on edge.
Everyone is making an effort to continue as before. Our murderer gets away easily without even being suspected.
What is interesting here is people’s reaction to their friend’s death. They are bewildered but no one sheds a tear. But there is no belittlement or indifference in this. I think it’s just a classic trait of the haute bourgeoisie. They take what’s happened as a fact to deal with. Life continues and there’s no need to give into destructive emotions like this. These are all highly emotional people like everyone else, but they possess such intellect and maturity, that they are well aware of the consequences of dwelling in sadness. Everyone is making an effort to continue as before. Our murderer gets away easily without even being suspected. He can’t believe it himself. A young, beautiful, innocent, dead woman and there is no justice for her. Or is there? Ultimately, his personal situation tapers because our culprit indeed has morals and values. He can’t take it that he is not even under suspicion. Paradoxically, the murderer is being tortured by his own “decency”. Or is it just that he wants to suffer by punishing himself?
Does he realise that facing him with love, understanding and forgiveness can only increase his suffering?
One evening, he admits to his friend that he killed his wife. The setting is absurd: After a soirée, his friend is accompanying him to his car. As he admits it, they just continue walking, keeping the same tone of voice as they talk. His friend prefers to act as if nothing ever happened, filing charges “would be stupid”, he is not even angry. Does he realise that facing him with love, understanding and forgiveness can only increase his suffering? It’s already bad enough that one person has died, so how does it help to waste time with the culprit? Doesn’t seem to make any sense, does it? At least that is the rational in this society. And it is the final blow for the killer.