The Girl on the Bridge
(La fille sur le pont)

The Girl on the Bridge (La fille sur le pont)
Made in: France
Language: French
Director: Patrice Leconte
Starring: Daniel Auteuil, Vanessa Paradis
Year: 1999

Synopsis: Adéle (Vanessa Paradis) is a naïve young woman who's had nothing but bad luck in her life (due partly to occasional nymphomanic impulses). One night, she decides to kill herself by jumping off a bridge.

However, she is saved by a somewhat mysterious man named Gabor (Daniel Auteuil), who happens to be a professional knife-thrower. He convinces Adéle to partner with him, and she becomes the target girl in his knife throwing act.

Before long, they realize that while together, they are blessed with a streak of good luck that's practically magical. But while separated, they are cursed with misfortune.

The Good: Shot in black and white, The Girl on the Bridge has moments of visual artistry and the protagonists are interesting. As always, Daniel Auteuil does a great job and Vanessa Paradis nails the part of the troubled but free-spirited Adéle.

The knife throwing aspect is a fascinating choice for the story, and the fantastical elements are creative. More on the artistic side, the film is unashamed of its adult themes. However, and to its credit, it never feels the need to be unnecessarily in-your-face with the sexual elements.

The Bad: The ending is a little too contrived, and could have been a little more creative. And even though Daniel Auteuil and Vanessa Paradis are good in their respective roles, the chemistry between them doesn't quite come together.

Also, the theme of luck, romance, and fortune (lost and found) has been done before. The Girl on the Bridge does some innovative things with those themes, but doesn't score too many points in terms of originality.

Who would like this film: The Girl on the Bridge is for you if you like foreign films and aren't afraid to try something a little more artistic. The story is simple, the dialogue is pretty witty, and many of the visuals are very well done. It's a film that relies on the strength of its actors, and on that front it definitely delivers.

The presentation of its familiar themes keeps it from being extraordinary, but it's worth seeing for film lovers.

(3 out of 4 stars)

Review written by: Joe Yang

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