Movie Review: A Very Long Engagement

A Very Long Engagement is a French Film set in the World War I. It is a love story of a polio-stricken Mathilde waiting for the return of his soldier fiancé, Manech. In a time of war when the only things you can cling on are uncertainties, Mathilde hoped and believed that Manech will survive the war and come back to her alive. She spent each restless day doing her own search for Manech, and holding on to the littlest of hope that Manech still breathes for her. The whole ordeal was mental torture. Mathilde held on to the most absurd signs that Manech is still alive, like being able to peel an apple wholly.

The whole investigation that Mathilde underwent was hard to follow. The subtitles and unfamiliar French-sounding characters made it all difficult, not to mention my movie partner tugging me to ask questions all the time and joking about the sounds of the French names.

What is very interesting for me was the ending, because I saw it as both a happy ending and a sad one, depending on the viewer's point of view. Spoiler: Manech came back alive, but he had an amnesia. If you put yourself in Mathilde's shoes, how would you feel? Your fiancé comes back home alive, but he doesn't recognize you. He gives you the unfamiliar and empty smiles. He's alive but you are loving from afar. He could not understand your tears. Would it have been like experiencing the death of a loved one? It would all come down to your definition of love.
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