Jean-Hugues Anglade plays Zorg (yup, that’s his name), a handyman living in a beach-front house, scribbling away quietly in his spare time. Not so quiet is his tempestuous affair with Betty (Beatrice Dalle), whose passions overwhelm both of them. First she moves in on him with no warning. Then, when she discovers his writing, she decides that they must move to Paris so he can have a career as a writer. To make sure Zorg complies, she burns his house to the ground. Once in Paris, her plans fo… him fall apart, and so, bit by bit, does she.
Writer/director Jean-Jacques Beineix has both audience and characters sweltering from the get-go, setting the tone for another French tale of amour fou. Anglade and Dalle inhabit their characters perfectly (though one might be forgiven for wondering what exactly Zorg sees in Betty, beyond the physically obvious). The film is stylish and dramatic, and if at 185 minutes, it outstays its welcome, it doesn’t do so by much.
The sound is mono, which is a bit disappointing for a 1986 film. Even so, the sound is quite rich, and the music sounds very good, considering the limitations. There is a bit of sibilance on the dialogue, and by all means avoid the English dubbing — it’s not horrible, but it certainly isn’t good, either.
The film also looks a little bit older than it should, and this is due to the print, which has some speckles and dirt, and most particularly is noticeably grainy. The colours, though, are excellent (you really do believe that, to invoke the film’s French title, it’s 37.2 Centigrade in the morning). The image is sharp, and the blacks are very solid. The aspect ratio is 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen (which will mean for 16×9 monitors, some slight loss due to cropping at the top and bottom).
Nothing here but a few trailers. The menu is basic.
The melodrama is over the top, but this is still some solid, serious and sexy stuff.
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