Pierrot le Fou

Pierrot le Fou ★★★½


"You talk too much; it tires me out just listening to you," says an imaginatively topless woman to Ferdinand at a party, just after he's done babbling about how he feels like a collection of separate people rather than one coalesced human being. Succinctly outlines why I find PIERROT LE FOU good, but not great: sometimes Godard (and his mouthpieces) won't shut up. He's more to my taste when he's simply having a good time; it troubles me when he wants to teach us a lesson, belt us with philosophy, or take himself too seriously. Truly a shame, because a good portion of this is nothing more than A WOMAN IS A WOMAN-lite blended with BREATHLESS…but there's also a bit of CONTEMPT, too, which is the key ingredient for my underlying semi-aversion. The good stuff’s quite good, though; Godard and Karina make such an admirable director/actress duo : the admirer/muse dynamic is always present but never obnoxious because it feels genuine, as if Godard were capturing his imagination running wild and Karina only exists as some perfected figment of his psyche—a woman that embodies everything he desires, no less and no more. Unlike WOMAN or BREATHLESS, though, PIERROT LE FOU occasionally missteps by loading its narrative up with too much weight, plunging too deeply into Godard's frontal lobe. It's substantially better when it stays on the breezy surface, wafting effortlessly along its palette of bright colors, remaining playful and carefree. At one point Ferdinand looks directly at the audience and mutters, "All she thinks about is fun." But is there anything wrong with that?

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