Paris(2008) is an ensemble movie which tells us the story of different characters living in Paris, the city of Dreams for many. They are living that dream many others can die for but still somehow they don't even seem to live their own life. There is Pierre, cabaret dancer who has heart defect and is waiting for transplant which still may not save his life. We watch whole film through his perspective. Then there is Elise, Pierre's sister played by Juliette Binoche who is looking after him and is having her own mid-life crisis, Roland is a historian who is giving up teaching for making a Documentary on Paris for money and is stalking one of his old students anonymously. Laetitia, that is Melanie Laurent as beautiful as they come, is the student Roland is stalking and she ends up sleeping with him even though she has a boyfriend and there is Jean, a fruit and vegetable vendor who is still hung up on his previous girlfriend.
All these characters are interwoven subtly. Elise's daughter is friends with Jean's daughter. Jean has his shop in market close to Pierre's house and Laetitia lives right across Pierre, who observes her from his window, his favorite past-time now that his condition has restricted him a lot.He also observes other people around him like Khadija, who works in Bakery he goes to quite often and one more worker who collects garbage from his apartment. Jean is hung over Daniela, his ex and business partner but doesn't realize it until she gets killed in Road Accident. He watches her everyday flirting with his friends and tries to be indifferent but after she dies feels his responsibility to fulfill her last wish. Roland is a jaded professor embarrassed to be infatuated by his own student and saddened by usual joys of his brothers life because he is lonely and tells him that he is normal as if it is something wrong.
Like any other ensemble film, Paris(2008) has a lot of characters. It gives us a lot to ruminate about Life and Love. Everyone has its own story which actually makes it a really complex film but hey! Life is Complex. You need to simplify it. Everyone has worries and you will always have worries. But we need to go beyond it to appreciate the beauty of life. Actually this was one of the reasons I liked this movie. It goes a little above 2 hours and still feels short because all the characters are strong and real like you and me. It thankfully does not follow the cliched 'All is well that ends well' pattern. Rather This film doesn't attempt to answer all the questions it raises, it rather tells you that not all the questions have answers(This reminds me of 2nd July night I spent in New York when me and some friends were trying convince one other friend the exact same thing). As Pierre says in the end you just need to know that you are really lucky to be living. My only regret is Melanie Laurent doesn't talk much, though she looks stunning which is more than I can ask for and she gives what is needed from her character - strong presence with a captivating Face.
Rating(out of 5):