Notre univers impitoyable

Synopsis: Victor and Margot are both lawyers in a major consulting firm and form a solid couple in private. Yet one day they find themselves competing for the same job promotion. How will their relationship stand up to the outcome?

Notre univers impitoyable 7.0

Perhaps I watched one too many Hollywood comedies, but I completely expected this film to showcase the couple duking it out for a promotion and that the “laughs” would come from watching them trip each other up and stab one another in the back – despite all their best intentions at first.

As it turns out, this film is nothing like that. happy0024 Free Emoticons   Happy

It’s actually a two-part movie, going through the “what ifs” of either scenario in linear, but segmented tangents. Frankly, I thought it was a nice way to approach the concept, instead of giving us a battle of the sexes (as suggested on the DVD cover).

Still, the gender issue is prominent throughout the film. There’s constant discussion of the place women have in the workforce, whether it be during overt exchanges between Margot and her sister, or in the choices she makes at work, with her male colleagues.

Similarly, Victor also has choices to make after the promotions, and it was interesting to see where the writer took his character when he was promoted versus when Margot was. I’m not sure how realistic it is, in light of both characters’ ambitious personalities, however. Seems to me that both are a bit more tenacious…

And that’s where I was left dissatisfied with the film – I wasn’t sure just how realistic the turns of events were. All along, I got this feeling that the writer was perhaps too cynical in her view of coupledom and human beings; I wasn’t convinced that these characters would choose the paths that they ended up taking. It seems too pessimistic to me. indifferent0004 Free Emoticons   Indifferent

But then, it wouldn’t be a drama otherwise, would it? winking0002 Free Emoticons   Winking

At least the actors were up to the task. They weren’t standouts, but they were good. Bizarrely, of the bunch, I only recognized Thierry Lhermitte, even though I’ve seen my share of French films. Lhermitte played it straight, and he was convincing enough. Personally, I find it amazing that he’s doing drama, in light of the fact that he started with “Les Bronzés” (then again, look at Robin Williams or Tom Hanks…).

Anyway, all this to say that this is not a masterpiece, but it was a pleasant surprise. While I disagree with the direction the characters were taken in, it all unfolded smoothly, and in a format that permitted the audience to compare both stories effortlessly. happy0024 Free Emoticons   Happy

As a bonus perk, it would probably be pretty good group discussion fodder – gender roles still being a topic that we don’t all agree on to this day.

What do you think?

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