Is Amour the answer?

Is Amour the answer? 

The latest movie Amour of Michael Haneke offers the spectators the pleasure to belong in his story regarding the old age and life’s end; the director of Hidden and The white ribbon makes us love again Amour since we need to remember it so as to decode its meaning in our own way.

Setting out on this personal journey to decode what I have internalized, after seeing the movie at the 18th international film festival of Athens Nychtes Premieras I am to recall the fifth verse of “the outpost”, a poem from the collection Paths of Tomas Tranströmer, -The great enigma, translated by Robin Fulton, New Directions Books, New York 2006-, which says: “Mission: to be where I am. / Even in that ridiculous, deadly serious/ role- I am the place/ where creation is working itself out.”

The reason why I recall now this verse is due to the elective affinities I detect between Amour and “the outpost”. In Amour, the irony of love considered as the other side of death is rife. For Georges, Jean-Louis Trintignant, the relationship between him and Anna, Emmanuelle Riva, has been crucial for all the years they lived together, but it is only upon her first stroke that he realizes he has grown from a normal husband into a unique and faithful mate. In Amour, the alienation of the two retired music teachers-from others-is an important factor so as to see the topical meaning of love and its reflections in kindness, understanding and compassion as well as the bad aspect of instincts and physical denial. By the same token, in coming to appreciate the worth of what he has, Georges is forever consigned to a painful life where no one place can fully be home except for home. There, Georges means. He is “topos”for Anna. He is the place where Amour is working itself out...

Therefore, in Amour, home is the only intimate refuge for love and pain; whereas love is viewed as the other side of death, related to the nature and origin of pain. Through Georges- Jean-Louis Trintignant, through his silently active and loving gaze, the importance of moral behavior is conveyed to the spectators. If it had not been for Haneke, however, this movie would have probably been a disaster; for, his issue is a delicate one that demands special treatment. It is Haneke who focuses on the male gaze in order to make the spectators see how it has internalized the female voice. His film direction casts light on the facets of human nature when life is seen as a spectrum of death.

Thus, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, two outstanding film personalities that have contributed to the history of cinema during their career, give exquisite performances as Georges and Anne. Apparently, they shape the theatre of love, where either relatives or even children seem so different and partially unable to feel the nature and life of the problem. Anna has been paralyzed; she confronts problems in speaking and communication; not only she cannot play the piano any more but also dementia after the strokes causes serious trouble and confusion in her daily life.

From the director’s standpoint, Amour is a dinner strictly for two that enables two mates to rethink about the truth of their relationship and common life that ran away like running water from the tap. When death knocks their door this evaluation comes to be crucial. Death reality needs no publicity and this feeling about the life’s end keeps up with the winter atmosphere throughout the film.

Anyway, it is the director’s skillfulness that guarantees the concise, exquisite result without bordering on depression. Within one Paris-type apartment the connotations used construct a film worthy of attention and support. It is interesting to observe how Haneke first narrates something and then chooses to show the object of narration in the film. After the film, the dialogue about the essence of love is topical again. Is love the answer to all those who damage their political unconscious by nurturing their one and only ego? In a nutshell, we owe Haneke a lot.

• Production year: 2012 
• Countries: Austria, France, Germany
• Directors: Michael Haneke
• Cast: Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Louis Trintignant 
 Cannes Palme d' or 2012

first, the review appeared here:

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