Stephen Frears, who is known by «Dangerous Liaisons» has a great sense of taste. And this time his movie «Chéri» is very stylish, elegant and affecting film. This is a story about not quite ordinary love, about which, maybe, many people dream but it is possible to know about it from books and films only.
Lea is a not young, but elegant courtesan who reached a lot in her life and firmly learned the basic rule of her profession — do not fall in love with anybody. Chéri is a young son of Lea’s friend. He is spoiled, effeminate young man with attractive appearance and jaded by already all possible pleasures. He is 19 years old and he spends all his time in an expensive restaurant and wakes up in the mornings in the company of a few pretty women with the bored look. Lea nicknamed him Chéri, it is translated as « dear » or « darling» from French.
Both of them are two persons, who do not already wait anything from love. And they go to the voyage together to have a rest. It turns a pleasant flirtation for both of them. Then it develops into unexpectedly deep affection gradually. They require nothing from each other, just enjoying every moment, when they are together. Lea pays bills, takes all decisions, Chéri — carelessly wastes his youth, does nothing and gives Lea his youthful tenderness. Their romance lasts 6 years in such way, lightly and happily. They never get tired from each other, find gladness in the most ordinary routine trifles, they together go shopping and travel…
Lea forgives extravagant slob Chéri all his irresponsibility and whims. In his turn Cheri loves her, in spite of little wrinkles, already appearing on her once blameless face. It would last infinitely, but Chéri’s mother marries him to young and very rich fiancée. He has to leave Lea, and quite different life begins here. They can not forget each other and understand, that exactly their love was for them that one, about which everybody dreams, and about which books are written and films are shot.
On the face of it, this is just next history about love about which, it is seemed, everything is already said. How many words were already said about it, and this theme had time to fatigue. Nevertheless, there is some salt, some special charm in the Chéri movie, because of which film and story of love, which is told here, does not seem such boring and trivial. Atmosphere of the film is pleasant also.
In spite of dramatic effect of events, feeling of some lightness, some light does not leave you during all viewing. Probably, it is because this love is without pretension, without the right of dominating over other, complete serene freedom from which senses and attachment are made even stronger and more fascinating.
A film is wonderful not only by its content but also marvelous picture. There is not single ungraceful or not nice shot. Suits of actors are just exquisite and wonderful to small things. You can pay attention to elegant Lea hats or to silk shirts of Chéri with little pearl-buttons.
Both protagonists are also brilliant and each of them are wonderful by his own way. Lea is a real woman, who in spite of her past, can come to love unselfishly and selflessly. Even in the most difficult minutes she does not lose her dignity. She is always elegant and discreet; she shows her emotions exactly so, as far as she needs it, she is also tender and careful.
Cheri is personified youth, which strives for knowing all gladness and all pleasures, to drink this vessel of life to the end, supernaculum, to enjoy it, while it is possible. And at the same time, Lea says that Chéri is special, he is attractive by his taciturnity and there is some riddle in him. According to her words, all her young lovers began to pour out their souls at once, but he does not say any word and smiles only. Chéri often behaves as a child, but this naivety and capriciousness make him more attractive.
Well, speaking about dignities of this film, it is impossible to notice an actor play. Wonderful Michelle Pfeiffer, she succeeded to pass sensuality and amorousness of her heroine in combination with an outstanding willpower and self-control perfectly well. Rupert Friend also made happy for a while. He passed essence of Chéri here marvelously, his infantilism, his immaturity and fatigue from life simultaneously is very interesting combination.
All film passes under the sign of some elusive airiness and beauty, as if this movie has its own special «light breathing». It is very good to sit down in the arm-chair comfortably before viewing more conveniently, take a lot of in soft pillows and stock up with delicious cakes before watching.
A film is absolutely superior, and will give you pleasure by wonderful landscapes, pleasant music and simple, but leaving affection calm sadness, which stays after viewing.
Watch it and you will not regret.
Chéri movie trailer