REVIEW FOR THE 400 BLOWS - A FRENCH FILM BY FRANCOIS TRUFFAUT
This one has a simple enough story, as much as an Oliver Twist or Jane Eyre has a simple enough story. A tale of mishandling of juvenile minds, the belaboring of a tender psyche - well we've heard most of it before. But with masterpieces like The Four Hundred Blows, it is the treatment that creates magic.
This semi-authobiographical tale of the director Francois Truffaut's life, features young Antoine who is neglected most of his impressionable early life by his mother and stepfather. They both consider him a burden as he was born to his mother before she wed, and she subsequently married his stepfather to give the child a name. The financially insecure family also exposes him to physical hardship.
Antoine begins to commit small pranks, which graduate into the stealing a typewriter, the one incremental transgression that gets him into the domain of adult crime. His parents turn him to the police who put him in a detention centre and then a work camp. His mother makes no plea for leniency.
When he eventually escapes, there is the famous freeze frame where Antoine is on the beach with his feet in the surf, looking back on the shore, with no place left to flee. The interrogation is used as a showcase of a life as an unwanted load, jettisoned from one relative onto another.
The film has won numerous awards including the Best Director Award at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival, the Critics Award of 1959 New York Film Critics' Circle, and the Best European Film Award at the 1960 Bodil Awards. It was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the 1959 Academy Awards as well.
The movie will be screened at Prasad's Lab Preview theatre at 1500 hrs on the 11th February.
Please contact 2770-0734, 2770-0735, 2770-0736 for further details.