IT starts on a image trauma printed by the eye cruel to a pet. Michelle (Isabelle Huppert), the victim of the rape that we observe, helpless, subsequently the same indifference to his aggression. More “immoral”, it will come to enjoy it. The new film from Paul Verhoeven is good news by the tone in which it requires a narrative, intriguing to multiple interpretations as to the motivations of his characters. Beyond the relationship of sadomasochism that Michele is going to meet with her rapist, the scenario multiplies the opportunities to illustrate the mechanisms of defense of women who are victims of a society deeply macho. Rather than position the victim facing the desire lewd and violence instinctive the men that surround them, the women of SHE draw their strength from it, and end up each time by taking the ascendant on the threat of men. To illustrate this theme, we can take as an example the company of video games founded by Michèle and her best friend. They encourage their male team of developers to exacerbate the violent impulses and sexual that provoke the game on which they are working. Rather than deny the aggressiveness of men which they have been the victims, the women of IT the channels, the heads-up.

Initiated by the producer Saïd Ben Saïd, the project of adapting the novel by Philippe Djian “Oh…” by asking Paul Verhoeven for ensuring the staging is proving to be a winning bet. The screenplay by David Birke is a entertainment solid at the same time as an exploration in subtle male/female relationship through the prism of a fairy tale sadomasochistic funny, cruel and reflexive. It is expected, however, Paul Verhoeven’s something other than a staged set-up, just to show the progress of this history.

The reflex of having entrusted IT to Paul Verhoeven is perfectly justified when you know its obvious satyriques Starship Troopers and Showgirls. The second explored already a form of feminism back hair of the conventions, moral and puritan of our society. Showgirls took the advantage of a male desire as a lever of emancipation for women who know how to use it. In this respect, SHE and Showgirls are quite similar in their thematic approach. But Showgirls was a four commercial and critical to its output (and then a success on VHS, sold as an erotic film and not a parody satirical), Paul Verhoeven has without doubt been afraid to dig his vein experimental, his passion for the grotesque, and his taste for the excessive.

IT is therefore formally a film very smooth from the point of view of the realization. Worse, Verhoeven has decided to renew a device that he had experienced on his film broke Tricked : two cameras close to one another record the same scene in two values of the plans are different (a medium shot and a closeup, for example). This device if it saves time in the filming (less taken) has led the director of the mount choices quite disturbing. The film is packed with a number of fittings in the axle completely free. For a director like Verhoeven, it would be expected that each plan has a meaning. Move from a medium shot to a close-up shot in the same scene without this being justified by the action, a speech, or a gesture, appears as the result of the device chosen by the director. We guess then that such a connection comes from the need to paste the beginning of the scene with the end, the game of the actor was deemed insufficient for the assembly to keep a single socket (which would be equivalent to a single value of plan).

“IT is a tale of sado-masochistic funny, cruel and reflexive. “

Ironically, Paul Verhoeven is distinguished by its magnificent direction of actors. Isabelle Huppert delivers a remarkable performance, as well as Virginie Efira, Charles Berling, or Laurent Lafitte. The device Verhoeven is therefore very effective to support the play of the actors and contribute to the sustained pace of the story, but also gives you a look of telefilm to ITby the formal choices that result. We were not necessarily convinced, not by the work on the light of Stéphane Fontaine (A prophet, rust and bone, among others) that reinforces this idea of a tv spectacle. We feel that the ambition is to put the staging in removing, for the benefit of the story, but the result is far from accentuate the bias realistic direction of the actors. IT is in the end a tale funny that would pass without problem in the first part of the evening on a chain grand public. The subversion of history seems to have been gummed for the benefit of television entertainment, as if the big holdouts that are Paul Verhoeven and Philippe Djian were mired in the inertia of the system of production in French cinema. Totally dependent on tv main stream (who are funding a film to live up to its potential audience), the French companies of film production seem to be made not of the politically correct. With Verhoeven, IT had everything to be a firebrand lecture on the status of women, the machine of French cinema has made a nice family entertainment. The satyr has been reduced to the anecdote.

Thomas Coispel

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