Test 2

Please select your preferred language.





Remember Me

New to Fridae?

Fridae Mobile


More About Us

24 Oct 2012

It Begins With the End

Intense French arthouse take on 500 Days of Summer.

Original Title: Ca commence par la fin

Director: Michael Cohen

Language: French

Screenplay: Michael Cohen

Cast: Emmanuelle Beart, Michael Cohen, Leopold Kraus

As far as romantic comedies goes, 500 Days of Summer and its loopy non-linear storytelling threw out the Hollywood rulebook in 2009 and recast the genre as an unsentimental coming-of-age story of a young sentimental couple who grow up by growing out of each other. Barely a year later, the concept is reaffirmed in It Begins With the End, which one can almost imagine as the original indie film, made with a more intense, French arthouse sensibility.

Of course the film begins at the end of a tumultuous relationship between Jean and Gabrielle and of course, the story of their love affair is told completely out of order. Over the course of the film's two hour runtime, we will see the couple meet for the very first time, introduce themselves as intense individuals who will not be bound by conventionality or etiquette, seduce each other at their workplaces, and then spend the rest of their time alternating between rough and loud sex at home and in the streets of Paris, rough and loud arguments at home and in the streets of Paris, and their rough and loud prolonged final meeting from the beginning of the film.

While the non-linear 500 Days helpfully provided cues in the form of title cards for us to mentally date each scene, here we are afforded no such luxury. Aside from the obvious beginning and end of the relationship, the rest of the scenes seem to take place in the blender of time. You can either sprain a muscle trying to figure out how everything happens chronologically or just accept that perhaps this relationship (as presented by the film) is so simplistic and flat that every other moment in it feels the same. While the non-linear story of 500 Days was structured and arranged along the protagonist's thematic and emotional memory of his relationship, here there is very little indication that things are happening, that there's anything in this story beyond a mixture of desire and calculated animosity between two individuals who love and hate each other with equal passion. Depending on your tastes, the approach taken by the script is either appreciated or tolerated.

That said, the film does bear the hallmarks of a first feature by a director-writer-actor who has cast his real-life wife to star opposite him. It Begins With the End can be self-indulgent to the point that the transition into every other scene is accompanied with the first eight bars of the Brandenberg Concerto no. 4, movement 2, as if to signal that you're watching something important and intense.

Reader's Comments

1. 2012-10-30 16:01  
Sounds like a heap of shit, why not have some decent GAY movies on for review.

Please log in to use this feature.

Select News Edition

Featured Profiles

Now ALL members can view unlimited profiles!


View this page in a different language:

Like Us on Facebook


 ILGA Asia - Fridae partner for LGBT rights in Asia IGLHRC - Fridae Partner for LGBT rights in Asia