December 3, 2021

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REVIEW – LOVE AT SECOND SIGHT

In recent months, romantic film genres, ranging from local films by the nation’s children, Hollywood films, or films from Korea, which are quite dominating among the younger generation often adorn our cinema screens. Present as an alternative between the same choices, the film from France entitled Love at Second Sight (French title: Mon Inconnue) deserves to be watched considering that France is the mecca of all things related to romance and its famous films have extraordinary representations. about love. I had the opportunity to watch this film first as the opening film in the 6th French Cinema Festival (6-10 Nov 2019). The film Love at Second Sight was first released in France on April 3, 2019 and was released in theaters CGV and Cinemaxx on November 13, 2019. The film was directed and written by Hugo Gélin.

The story starts from the school days where Raphaël (François Civil) a student who likes to write science fiction novels about the character Zoltan who is very good and is loved by many women. But Raphaël never shows his novels to anyone until he meets Olivia by accident when he hears her playing the piano in one of the school’s rooms. Raphaël was impressed and praised Olivia’s play because she was very talented but the moment of the meeting had to be interrupted by the school officials who caught them. The two of them manage to escape but Raphaël’s book of draft novels accidentally gets carried away by Olivia. The next day Olivia reunites with Raphal to return the notebook, since then Raphal decides to include a Shadow character inspired by Olivia. Over time, their relationship developed and they finally got married. Thanks to Olivia’s help and support, Raphaël manages to become a famous science fiction novelist while Olivia bury her dreams of becoming a famous pianist and becoming a music school teacher.

After some time of marriage, Raphaël became increasingly busy with his career as a famous writer and began to distance himself from Olivia. One day while writing the story for his new novel, Raphaël decides to kill the Shadow character. On the night of the same day, Raphaël had a big fight with Olivia regarding their relationship situation. After a night of blizzards, Raphaël wakes up and is surprised to find himself in a parallel world. In this world he never met Olivia and married her, another surprising thing is that he is no longer a famous novelist but a literature teacher and his fictional novel Zolt was never completed while Olivia was a famous and successful pianist. In the midst of this confusion, He enlists the help of his best friend Felix (Benjamin Lavernhe) to help him return to his original world. After discussing with Felix, Raphaël concludes that he must make Oliva fall in love with him again in order for things to return to their original state. Will Raphal be able to win Olivia’s heart back and bring Raphal back to his world and continue his life as a successful novelist?

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The film flows very well and is not boring at all to watch for a duration of 117 minutes, the selected rom-com genre is very effective in supporting the narrative of the film’s story. At first, I thought from the synopsis that this film would fall into a drama that could make the heart move, but it didn’t, the comedy aspect makes this film more dynamic and alive. Although we have seen the idea of ​​​​the story in similar films, thanks to the convincing acting of the players, the audience will be connected and touched at the same time. This film takes a very good approach by focusing on Raphaël’s struggle to get Olivia’s love back through a series of romantic and sometimes ridiculous events. The time travel and parallel universe aspects are just plot devices that are used as motivation for the main character, Raphaël and the good thing is that this film doesn’t try to give too complicated explanations about it or add to the complexity of time travel as a subplot in the story. Meanwhile, the final chapter is an important part of this story which is quite emotional and closes very beautifully. If some French films have absurd endings, but for the story of this film, the conclusion will satisfy you when you watch it.

This film only focuses on 3 main characters, namely Raphaël, Olivia, and Felix so that it makes it easier for the audience to focus and connect, the audience is brought to witness the metamorphosis of Raphaël and Olivia’s characters from when they were in school until they grew up and got married. The three actors and actresses who played their characters were able to live out their characters very well. François and Joséphine appear convincing as a lovable and sweet couple, as viewers we are made to believe in their intimacy and closeness shown in this film. François as the main character is able to make the audience side with his character in a series of struggles he does and Josephine as the main character’s love interest is able to balance François’ appearance with his equally strong character. Josephine can perform character transitions in two parallel worlds as Raphal’s wife and as someone who never knew Raphal very well. However, praise must also be given to Benjamin Lavernhe who makes this film more alive, his character Felix has succeeded in making this film more colorful and alive through a series of comedy scenes with Raphaël’s character. The duo François and Benjamin are proven to be able to stir the audience’s stomach through their hilarious dialogues or whenever they are together in one frame scene.

The cinematography and music in this film are also noteworthy. Nicolas Massat displays the beautiful cinematography of Paris both in urban and rural areas, he is able to capture romantic moments between the two characters Raphaël and Olivia very well. The initial scene of the film where we are given glimpses of important moments in Raphaël and Olivia’s love journey proves to be powerful and memorable. The way of capturing moments which consists of short shots is able to tell a lot without being long-winded while showing character development quite effectively. Something that is difficult to do but this can be delivered perfectly in this film. What’s a romantic film without good music, the scoring and soundtrack used in the film, which is mostly in English, feels warm and close to the audience.

Through this film, Hugo Gélin tries to present the issue of personal ambition versus love and togetherness in married life. The definitive answer to the issue is not shown explicitly in the film and is completely left to the audience because there will be no 100% ideal answer for this condition. Hugo Gélin along with Igor Gotesman (Five) and Benjamin Parent wrote the story script using a comical approach to the character Raphaël until he inevitably had to accept his condition in a new parallel world and began to struggle to win his life and love back. This film also depicts the problems of marriage in the modern age very well where sometimes the ambition to pursue a career creates distance and problems in the relationship itself. The extent to which we are willing to sacrifice for the sake of the integrity of the relationship or personal success is a challenge that must be faced by all couples in this phase of their life. Similar themes are also explored in La La Land with a dramatic and more sentimental approach, but this film is like combining the stories in 50 First Dates and Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Minds with a captivating and memorable ending. The story in this film also teaches us not to waste someone who has given his life to be with us. Watch this film either for those who are alone or with a beloved partner as a reminder of what our priorities are in a relationship as well as learning how to overcome our ego. Similar themes are also explored in La La Land with a dramatic and more sentimental approach, but this film is like combining the stories in 50 First Dates and Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Minds with a captivating and memorable ending. The story in this film also teaches us not to waste someone who has given his life to be with us. Watch this film either for those who are alone or with a beloved partner as a reminder of what our priorities are in a relationship as well as learning how to overcome our ego. Similar themes are also explored in La La Land with a dramatic and more sentimental approach, but this film is like combining the stories in 50 First Dates and Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Minds with a captivating and memorable ending. The story in this film also teaches us not to waste someone who has given his life to be with us. Watch this film either for those who are alone or with a beloved partner as a reminder of what our priorities are in a relationship as well as learning how to overcome our ego. The story in this film also teaches us not to waste someone who has given his life to be with us. Watch this film either for those who are alone or with a beloved partner as a reminder of what our priorities are in a relationship as well as learning how to overcome our ego. The story in this film also teaches us not to waste someone who has given his life to be with us. Watch this film either for those who are alone or with a beloved partner as a reminder of what our priorities are in a relationship as well as learning how to overcome our ego.