Catherine (Jacqueline Bisset) hires the illiterate Sophie as her maid. But Sophie (Sandrine Bonnaire) soon falls under the influence of the mysterious Jeanne (Isabelle Huppert), and the stage is set for a tale of murder, violence and betrayal.
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There's a practical matter-of-factness to the way Chabrol handles the material; focusing in on the small details of human interaction; the seemingly trivial relationships. The effect numbs the audience to the underlining emotional instability; the routines & repetitions of characters leaving us ill-prepared for the inevitable fury of its final act. The result is like Hitchcock by way of Bresson. The work of a master.
Perhaps THE great film about malevolence & how inherent it is in nature. Sallitt is profoundly right: LA CEREMONIE feels quite perfect, but quite depressing. Its thesis, which Chabrol does not refute, has everything to do with man's capacity to harm. Chabrol has an uncanny ability of establishing ominousness by way of precise camera movement & punctual shot juxtaposition. The aesthetic is close to MARNIE at times.
Para empezar, el dúo Huppert-Bonnaire resulta de lo más singular, con una armonía actoral pocas veces vista. Por otro lado, desde el inicio hasta el final la película está envuelta en distintas atmósferas de misterio y crítica social. Y hay una amenaza latente y una tensión que, por momentos, me recordó al cine de Haneke.