Thursday, January 24, 2008
Film Review: La Moustache

So I heard about this film La Moustache and immediately knew I had to see it. I absolutely loved this film, but I absolutely love Existentialism. Whether or not you like this film is probably going to depend strongly on your own feelings towards existential angst. See also: Sartre, Camus, Kafka.

So, the film. Protagonist Marc toys with the idea of shaving off his robust moustache. He asks his wife what she thinks of the idea. She replies that she quite likes him with the moustache.

He shaves it off, and then teases his wife by hiding his face so she can't see that the moustache is missing. When he finally reveals his new clean-shaven look, she doesn't say anything. He assumes that now she is teasing him by pretending not to notice. They go to a small party. Nobody there notices, either. In the car on the way home, he says "okay, this isn't funny any more." His wife is confused. He's all "don't tell me you haven't noticed." And she's all what? And he says "I shaved off my moustache."

"But honey, you've never HAD a moustache." ...

Marc still thinks his wife is winding him up. His wife starts worrying that Marc is having some kind of mental breakdown. He finds an album of vacation photos of the two of them together in which he has the moustache, but for some reason (let's call that reason "plot device") he doesn't show them to his wife.

At work the next day, when his colleagues and the guy he gets his morning coffee from also don't notice, he starts thinking that maybe he IS going mad, or that some other nefarious force is at work. Other facts about his life also begin to change. You start to wonder if maybe his wife is the mad one.

He finds his drivers license, and he has the moustache in the photo. He asks a woman at the train station if she can see the moustache in the photo and she says yes, you had a moustache. So, Marc has several photos that he could show people to prove that yes, he used to have a moustache. But mysteriously ("plot device") he never does. That's really the only problem I have with this film. If he has evidence, why not show it? Why does the evidence exist? Would the film make more sense if the moustache had disappeared from the photos? I don't know...

I won't say much more about the plot, because this is a good, mysterious film and I think people should see it for themselves. As mentioned, it's probably more enjoyable if you like existentialism - or at least have a high tolerance for the strange. Also: did I mention, it's French? I especially like French films, but I realize that a lot of people don't. So, yeah. Subtitles, weirdness. If you think you're up for it, I highly recommend.