The passionate lovers, Philippe and Senta, first meet at Philippe’s sister’s wedding where Senta is a bridesmaid. The small reception occurs on a rainy day where the only sources of warmth are the burning cigarettes that droop from guests’ mouths. Philippe and Senta lock eyes from across the drab room, marking the beginning of their amour fou – or a relationship based on obsessive, consumingly caustic infatuation. By the end of the night, Senta craves a fanatical romance and Philippe adores her enigma of a personality. Throughout the film, their pernicious love accelerates, creating an uneasy atmosphere.
The mysterious Senta lives in the dilapidated basement of her mother’s warehouse, where there are barely any windows and leaks drip onto the cement floor. She is a self-proclaimed actor – she abhors the term actress – who tells stories of acting alongside John Malkovich in American films and posing for glamorous photoshoots in Paris. But are the stories true? When Philippe asks to see her work, Senta tells him the director deleted her scenes because Malkovich’s acting was subpar in comparison to hers. Philippe believes her, but we in the audience are dubious.
In Claude Chabrol’s The Bridesmaid, Senta’s story revolves around her love interest, Philippe, a grown man who lives at home with his doting mother, his judgmental adult sister, and rebellious adolescent sister. On the surface, Philippe is a normal man, working for a home renovation company and traveling back and forth to old women’s houses to refurbish their porcelain bathrooms. He is very involved in the lives of the women around him, almost assiduously following them around and worrying for their wellbeing. When his mother dates a new man named Gerard, Philippe rejects him; when his sister asks Philippe for money, he gives her everything; and when Senta asks him to prove his love by killing someone, Philippe acquiesces to the deed.
Ovid.tv’s The Bridesmaid Pits Morals Against Passion
Some people say that to live fully, you have to do four things: plant a tree, write a poem, make love with a person of your sex, and kill someone.
Or so says Senta, before coercing Philippe to do the latter in order to prove that he loves her. Philippe is dumbstruck, profusely sweating, panicking and praying for a solution. Between the troubling options of either losing Senta forever or murdering some innocent civilian, Philippe decides to lie, claiming that he killed a homeless man by the sea. Upon hearing this, Senta embraces Philippe, implying that she loves him even more for committing a heinous act in the name of love.
In this way Chabrol’s The Bridesmaid asks us to weigh integrity and passion on a scale and ponder – is one worth sacrificing the other? In this writer’s opinion, this slow-burn romantic drama gradually presents a subliminal message about morals in the face of obsession.
The Bridesmaid is a perfect film for anyone interested in an enthralling romance that keeps you anxious and skeptical. However, there are graphic sexual scenes throughout the film, so avoid this movie if that kind of content bothers you.
Directed & Written by Claude Chabrol
Written by Pierre Leccia
Bernard Le Coq
Click here to see The Bridesmaid on Ovid.tv.
Images Courtesy of Ovid.tv
About the Author: Alexis Leonard
Alexis Leonard’s passion for reading and writing began in the Hundred Acre Wood when she accompanied Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh on their friendly, imaginative adventures. At the age of seven, Alexis was inspired by this honey-loving bear and began writing her own short stories filled with magical kingdoms, eerie forests, and furry monsters. She is interested in international relations and foreign languages, practicing her language skills by reading short stories from around the globe and learning about literature from different cultures. In her spare time, you will find Alexis reading psychological thrillers, watching anime, or focusing on her own creative writing.