The film Breathless presents quite unusual characters – they demonstrate their egoism in relationships, have philosophical conversations, and relax while one of them is hiding from the police. For instance, in the end, when the police are already following Michel, at first, he does not try to run away, and it seems that he has come to terms with the arrest, but then he fears for life and changes his mind. Michel built the image of a gangster, but there is a guess about his hidden inner fear.
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Another character, Patricia, is very close to ordinary people who usually represent the audience, but at the same time, is mysterious. She often asks to explain a particular word or expression, which makes her real. However, she calmly accepts that Michel killed a man and his death in the end (Godard, 1960). The unusual nature of the characters departs from canonical love stories with a happy ending, but at the same time, captures the audience’s attention.
Many unusual effects are present in the film, such as breaking the fourth wall and similar to it. For instance, one of the most notable details of the film is a lot of jump cuts. They significantly accelerate the movie’s pace by removing the details of some moments that are not influential to the plot. With a relatively large number of such cuts, there are still long episodes, for example, with dialogues, and their peculiarity is in revealing characters. Despite the contrasting nature of such approaches, their combination is very harmoniously represented in the film and makes it more creative.
The film openly borrows many elements characteristic of other genres. For example, there is a reference to American gangsters and their style. In creativity, there is always a challenge to develop something completely new, and inspiration from other people’s works is natural. Despite the possibility of condemnation by colleagues because of borrowing ideas, the director of Breathless was not afraid to take familiar details and connect them into something unusual noticeably, thereby creating an original film.
Godard, J. (1960). Breathless [Film]. Les Films Impéria.