Throw Back Thursday review of “The Dreamers”
Written by: Gilbert Adair
Directed by: Bernardo Bertolucci
Starring: Eva Green, Michael Pitt, and Louis Garrel
Having now watched “The Dreamers” once in my twenties (as a cigarette smoking, wine drinking, intellectual wannabe) and now in my thirties (as a much more healthy, less out to prove myself to the world, adult who didn’t go into the movie shaking with anticipation at the thought of getting to see Eva Green’s breasts) I have an all new take on it. And, with that new take, a new appreciation for what was actually (in my opinion) a very good story about how once upon a time youth culture was more focused on cinema, music, and literature. A time where change was accomplished by that youth, through protesting the repression of human and civil rights. A progressive time. A time when young people thought about more than selfies, Nicki Minaj’s butt, and instagram.
The acting is solid by the entire cast, but it was Pitt who stole the show. His Matthew is a young, naive American tourist who meets twins Isabelle (Green) and Theo (Garrel). The siblings attract Matthew with their radicalism and rebellious attitudes towards politics and sexuality. The trio soon isolate themselves from the outside world, and create what is more or less a dream like utopia in which they feel safe to express their radical views and desires for one another.
The film is beautiful, and it’s characters interesting. The direction by Bertolucci is masterful, as the film sucks you into the streets of 1960s Paris. The difficulty most people will have is not with the quality of the movie or it’s actors performances. It is with some of the subject matter. Bertolucci pushes the sexual envelope by including incestuous feelings between the twins. The films was met with much controversy surrounding it’s sexual content, but if you take out the fact that Isabelle and Theo are sister and brother, there is nothing that shocking by today’s standards. But, with that said, some will have too difficult a time swallowing the fact that they are related.
All in all “The Dreamers” is a very good film, about a very interesting time to be young. If you can handle controversial themes, I highly recommend it. If you have already seen it, you should watch it again. I liked it even more the second time.