A young woman searches for Lt Pinson, with whom she is madly in love. Pinson does not answer to her love. But as her obsession grows she keeps chasing and harassing him. This film about passionate yet obsessive love and self-destruction is based upon the real diary of Adèle Hugo.
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In which Truffaut tries his hand at an Ophuls film, complete with elegant tracking shots, an insanely devoted heroine, and a prat who barely reciprocates. The plot doesn't evolve much, but it does have a character—and what an actress to play her, even if Truffaut is better at capturing her constant frenzy than in getting under the surface. Truffaut was no Ophuls, but that's no disparagement. Ophuls was no Truffaut.
Watch how Isabelle Adjani channels a woman gripped by the feverish constraints of obssessive love, employing everything in her arsenal from selfless acts of charity to cunning deceit only to alienate the man she loves. Even during her scenes of madness in the end, Ms. Adjani affects a sort of quiet dignity and nobility to it all. It is utterly poignant to behold and ultimately, heartbreaking.
While psychologically light it's well conceived with a beautiful cinematography. Adele is a strong character suffering from an obsession that rips her sense of reality off and, considering the story timing and its dynamics, is completely unexpected to see how far she went. Truffaut's aesthetic works as a major pulling to engagement as it pleases our senses.
Truffaut made a film that I really loved. He doesn't mock Adele or her delusional quest to win the love of a pathetic man who had seduced her but never loved her. He presents her with a quiet respect. Whether or not her agenda was ever feasible, girl stuck to her goals! It's difficult not to root for that.
One of the best movies about the concept of love, which goes freely beyond the historical restrictions made by the laws of the genre. Truffaut is at his best in creating a beautiful and touching mise en scene which enhances the mood of the film. Isabelle Adjani gives one of her greatest performances in depicting a woman who is in mad, mad love.