💬 Review Confessions of a Cheat


Lurker Lv0️⃣
Name of the movie you are reviewing: Confessions of a Cheat

"Le Roman d'un tricheur" is one of his films that could suffer from their too great reputation. Ranked among the hundred most important films in history, revolutionary in the use of voice over, he would have influenced Wells for his "Citizen Kane". But all this is of little importance in the end and it is better to hide this heavy reputation if one wants to appreciate a film as humble as it is tasty.

This film is without a doubt the one that best represents Guitry's style, this delicious mix of biting but never mean irony, light and caustic humor, and above all imbued with that sweet immorality that goes against the self-righteousness of the time. A man of letters and theater above all, Guitry uses the power of words to denounce a society that prides itself on its good morals while failing to reward its most distinguished subjects. A paradox that turns into profound injustice since bad deeds prove to be rewarding contrary to good intentions. Thus, by taking over a French satirical tradition, Guitry elaborates his film in the manner of a gently acerbic fable, cutting bourgeois morality to pieces while retaining a humor full of finesse and fantasy. In other words, with him, we enjoy the shortcomings or hypocrisy of this high society, we savor as connoisseurs the good words offered to our delicate ears, but at no time we will laugh loudly while slapping our thighs with our hands! Guitry's style is certainly theatrical, and it is precisely to escape the filmed theater that he adopts a frankly literary style. With him, the word and the verb will take possession of the film, redefining a little more the cinematic grammar. His work "Memoirs of a Cheat" logically becomes "Novel of a Cheat"; the film becomes a novel and more precisely a picaresque novel in which each of the hero's adventures will be the occasion to scratch a little more the good morals.

The great innovation of Guitry is thus the "filmed novel" aspect! The narration only marries the point of view of the narrator and it is his own voice which replaces that of the other characters. The voice-over is marvelously well used since the process does not disturb the spectator at any time who really has the impression of hearing the other actors declaim their text. This impression of fluidity is facilitated by a well worked editing and by the oratorical talents of Guitry who knows, better than anyone else, how to bring his text to life. Sometimes the theatricality takes over but this is really not embarrassing!

But what characterizes the film, much more than its technical aspect, is its audacity and its freedom of tone. For through this series of picaresque adventures, Guitry revisits almost half a century of French history and above all takes us on a journey through the different strata of society. From the working class to the "high", it is the whole society of the time that scrolls across the screen in barely 80 minutes; that's to say if the pace is sustained!

The acerbic tone is felt from the very first minutes with no less than eleven corpses and a kid who only owes his life to his dishonesty! Guitry manipulates insolence sparingly by revealing his character's thoughts with a gentle irony that will be a constant throughout the film. But as a man of the theater, he knows that rhythm is important, so he makes his point in as few scenes as possible. Thus a sequence where we see our kid following the imposing procession of coffins, as if he were a criminal, is enough for Guitry to sketch the state of mind of these campaigns where gossip quickly condemns an innocent. In the same way with the portrait of the uncle and the aunt, he crushes this scornful petty bourgeoisie who misleads the peasants and is always ready to do anything for the lure of gain.

Thus Guitry, through the intermediary of the cheat, castigates the hypocrisy of this society where morality is never in order. Well, it's true that the criticism is not fierce, the tone always remaining good-natured. Our man is especially eager to oppose this hypocrisy of "good people" to the pleasures of our cheater, the man of a thousand faces. Through his adventures, he realizes the praise of his small pleasures, necessarily immoral: thefts, cheating at play, adulterous relationships, with even a hint of homosexuality. Finally, nothing very politically correct!

Would you recommend this to other users? This humble confession, half real, half imaginary, was therefore an unexpected discovery for me.
I definitely recommend it.
Come on, as I am not vengeful, I suggest to all those who don't like the movie to taste a good mushroom dish!

Rating(1-5): ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Lurker Lv0️⃣
tnx a lot for review! I was looking for good movie to watch and I found it
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