Gemma Bovery (2014) movie review


'In the depths of her soul, she was waiting for something to happen.'

I like watching movies very much, but I can be quite angry if I run into low-quality ones. I don't know what we can define as a 'good film', since I can enjoy a lot of creations from Hollywood as much as dramas or artistic films from elsewhere, but I consider IMDB quite a good starting point. I know you can't trust the ratings 100%, but I think it's still a good option when you have no idea what to watch.

When I spent two weeks in Northern-Ireland recently, I was lurking on this database one night (I was preparing for exams - of course, but got bored of it), and I found the film 'Gemma Bovery' which seemed very likeable for me at first sight. After watching it, I got some things to think about, so I did not regret my choice. In addition, sometimes you can't really describe why you prefer a melody/lyrics/book/poem/film very much, but it may simply touch you, and you automatically start to like it. By watching this movie I felt something very similar. It was not an over-exciting creation with a subtle thread, but the scenarios caught my attention from time to time.

The movie is based on two written works. One of them is an illustrated graphic novel with the same title from Posy Simmonds, and the other one is Gustave Flaubert's debut novel, called Madame Bovary. The story rests on the former much more (it more likely follows the storyline of Simmond's novel), but is drawing many parallels to Gustave Flaubert's book.

Gemma and Martin
The film has been directed from a local baker's (Martin) point of view in Norman village, France, who is passionate about Flaubert, and sees a lot of moments and people around him as if they were from his beloved fine literature. When an English couple, Gemma and Charles Bovery arrives from London to a small farm nearby, he automatically finds Flaubert's heroes in them: not only because of their names but also because of their behaviour.

Gemma, the main character of the film is a beautiful, sensual woman. After she had been dumped by her portentous lover Patrick, she got married to the furniture restorer Charlie Bovery soon. Despite living with her caring husband, Gemma is depressed by her life in London, and the couple moves to France for Gemma's wish shortly. She seems enjoying the different lifestyle: new flavours, sunny weather, the possibility of speaking French, but she is still missing something from her life. It is not hidden in the movie, this thread has been meaningfully highlighted for the audience. She is bored, does not care about anything, she sitting while delving into her thoughts deeply, etc. 

first meeting of Gemma and Hervé
Martin, the local baker has become captured by Gemma's beauty and uniqueness very soon, but it also turns into a kind of obsession as he apparently starts to stare at and follow her to some places secretly. Meanwhile Gemma meets with the young Hevré who spends some time at the quiet area to prepare for his higher educational tasks. They got close immediately, and after having the first day of their affair, Gemma switches from depressed/bored to radiant and happy. 

The movie is centered around Gemma's connections and affairs with four men in her life during the period which has been revealed in front of us, and her fate is coming closer as the time passes in the movie. Similarly to Flaubert's novel, the basic plot is rather simple in the film, but it's true art lies in its details and hidden patterns too. The movie's rating is 'only' 6,4 on IMDB, but in spite of this I do recommend it to you if you are interested in French or a story of an adulterous affair.

I also attached the trailer for you as a teaser.
Thank you for reading/watching. Join me on Facebook meanwhile. :)

x Rose


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