Sunday, February 17, 2013

THE 400 BLOWS (1959)

Somewhat ignored by his parents, the young Antoine Doinel plays hooky from school and takes part in some small petty theft.  Eventually he's labeled as a troublemaker by his parents and teachers and taken to the cops for stealing a typewriter.  From there he's sent to a reform school.

THE 400 BLOWS is a captivating watch filled with beautiful shots and strong performances, but it's not nearly as powerful as I had hoped.  Compared to childhoods like the kids in ONCE WERE WARRIORS, BULLY, HAPPINESS, KIDS, LOS OLVIDADOS (which was made years before THE 400 BLOWS), FISH TANK and THE WAR ZONE Antonie's childhood is pretty nice.  Hell, his childhood is probably better than 50% of the kids in the world today!  Maybe I'm just being pessimistic with that number, but I don't think so.  He wasn't even abused!  Just neglected.  That's still sad though.  What's the point of having a kid if you're only gonna treat 'em like shit?

Good film, but does it deserve all the praise it gets?  I have no idea, go ask a film professor.  I've seen it a few times over the years and I've always enjoyed it, but I never found it anything to get overly excited about.

Part 2 - Love at Twenty
Part 3 - Stolen Kisses
Part 4 - Bed & Board
Part 5 - Love on the Run

 Truffaut cameo.