Amour means love in French. Love is one of the basic needs of human life. Many define love as feeling unconditional and all-encompassing affection for someone with no limits or constraints. Since the invention of the moving image, love has been depicted in many forms and manner by the glamorous world of cinema. Amour is a movie dedicated to exploring and experiencing the power of love. Amour is not a chick flick or a story of two lovers with happy or sad endings. Amour delves into the true meaning of love and endeavours to demonstrate the strength and the transitional nature of love.
I was privileged to attend a media screening of Amour and my experience can be succinctly described by one word: dazzled! The audience was highly receptive and watched the movie with baited breath. The environment was suffused with a palpable sense of unknown with everyone unequivocally focused on the screen immersing themselves into the spirit of the movie. The audience made exceptional connection with the movie sniggering, gasping and crying in response to appropriate cues.
The storyline of Amour is fairly simple. It is the story of a couple named Georges and Anne, a pair of cultivated and retired music teachers in their eighties. Their daughter, Eva, is also a musician and lives abroad with her family. One day, Anne has an attack, an illness that cannot be cured. Suddenly their beautiful world turns upside down and their bond of love is brutally tested.
The astounding execution of the movie is what makes this movie one of its kind. The great Austrian director, Michael Haneke, has succeeded in creating another masterpiece, a movie that will forever leave an impression on your mind.
Jean-Louis Trintignant beautifully plays the role of Georges, the loving husband who ceaselessly dotes on his lovely wife. Emmanuelle Riva brilliantly executes the role of the charming and sophisticated wife Anne. This duo astounds the audience with their intense chemistry and their magical performance.
The dialogue of this film is definitely one of the many pillars of its success. The movie is quite slow as the story unravels and progresses towards unprecedented twists and turns. What really stands out about this movie is the excellent performance. The unrivalled performance on the part of the entire cast especially the two main characters, is strong enough to make the audience feel all the emotions, including happiness, sadness, disappointment and anger. The truthful yet ugly portrayal of the cruelties and indignities of old age and disease is both disturbing and shocking. Certain moments are truly horrifying and render audience trembling.
The movie is based mostly on the two leads. Trintignant is an amazing actor who delivers the dialogue with the utmost authenticity, while Riva acts out the dialogues with tremendous genuineness and amazing body language. Their resolute love, incessant dedication to one-another and constant struggle to maintain a dignified life is truly inspiring.
In the interest of the storyline, this movie is quite grey and slow. Some may even describe it as quite confronting, but the seriousness of the movie is occasionally diffused by sweet yet effective comedy moments.
Amour is an extraordinary movie with some exceptional qualities which antagonises and challenges the audiences.
Since its release, Amour has won hearts all over the world and has received the prestigious Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival 2012. At the 85th Academy Awards the film has been nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role (Emmanuelle Riva), Best Original Screenplay (Michael Haneke), Best Director (Michael Haneke) and Best Foreign Language Film. At the age of 85, Riva is the oldest nominee for the Best Actress in a Leading Role at the Academy Awards.