Un Singe en Hiver (1962)

This one came from a recommendation from a Swiss friend. The triangle here is composed by Jean-Paul Belmondo, Henry Verneuil and Jean Gabin. That enough should suffice for the viewer to take a look at this title, but the fact is that the most interesting thing comes from the plot.

Jean Gabin is an army veteran in his middle-age years living in a small village in the north of France. He spends his days thinking of his youth, a time he served as a soldier in China. Remembering those days as a synonym of happiness, of a time that won’t never come back he drinks in the local brothel. And drinks. And drinks. Those years are the years of German occupation, something that he despises but he is unable to fight back. On contrast to that, there is his wife, terrified of the war and the fact that her husband is drinking himself out… In a crucial moment, under the Allied bombings, she makes him promise her he won’t drink anymore. And he sticks to it.

Then, 20 years later, Belmondo arrives to the village showcasing a similar behaviour to the one we saw previously in the figure of Gabin. Gabin’s wife is obviously terrified her husband will start drinking again just by the company of that young drunkard. And then the movie starts.

It’s a comedy. Full of catchy lines and great acting moments, but it’s also a crude metaphor of what life is. First, we have Gabin… who realises that his best days were already spent… On the other hand, there is Belmondo, who refuses to grow up. And the viewer places himself just in the middle, realising that he might have things from both of them.

Really nice movie.



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