Saturday, 14 March 2015

MFFF MOVIE REVIEW: SUMMER NIGHTS (LES NUITS D'ETE)


3/5

During summer nights a group of men meet in the house in the forest to dress and live as women. Some of them are gay, some are not, but they are united by a passion of being their inner self and nothing can stop them from expressing that, even if it may hurt the ones they love.

Set in 1959 during the Algirian war the movie focuses on the character Michel - a married civil servant in Paris who struggles with his feminine side and torn between two lives he leads. He has a wonderful relationship with his wife Helene, whose rebellious nature causes trouble to his career. But while Helen does not seem to care what society thinks, will she be able to accept her husband’s strange desires?

SUMMER NIGHTS is shot in 4:3 full screen ratio, which gives it a feel of a film shot in 1958. The atmosphere has an authentic touch to it, and performances to match. Unfortunately it is the writing that lets SUMMER NIGHTS down. Many storylines lead nowhere and they are being wrapped in the most unsatisfying way or simply dropped. The story of the relationship between Michele and Helene works well, but this is not enough to feel good about the ending, when many characters’ conflicts are left unresolved. The movie  has a short run of 90 minutes, but even then a few lengthy scenes should have ended up on the cutting floor.


To sum it up, SUMMER NIGHTS forgets that even an art house film has to be entertaining, which is probably it is greatest flaw.

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