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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Le Mouton Enrage (aka Love At The Top) (1974)

A dark comedy or satire if you prefer to look at it that way but either way, this Michel Deville directed film is a nasty piece of goods and not very amusing either. A timid bank clerk (Jean Louis Trintignant) quits his job and under the guidance of a bitter, vengeful mentor (Jean Pierre Cassel) begins climbing his way to the top by seducing women, behind the scenes political chicanery and media control which leads to murder and suicide. Oh, did I say this was a comedy? Trintignant isn't a charming or charismatic enough personality to convince us that he could bend people to his will. Perhaps if he and Cassel had switched parts, it might have been more convincing. It's hard to laugh when people are being subjected to manipulation and cruelty and innocents are killed. The three women in the film deserve better than the film's misogynstic undercurrent. Romy Schneider (looking gorgeous) as Trintignant's married mistress, Jane Birkin (DEATH ON THE NILE) as a street prostitute and Florinda Bolkan as an amusingly hard hearted bitch all brighten up the film.

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