The 400 Blows

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It’s a French film about a young teenager and his ‘bad behavior’. It starts in school and ends in a camp for juvenile delinquents due to bad judgment and chain reactions. it’s a good film and all but I did get easily distracted. Basically, its an easy thing to watch but if it were on TV, I’d of been flicking through the channels every so often. You know what I mean?

The storyline is interesting because it shows the other side to juvenile delinquents, not all of them mean to be bad. Our main character, Antoine, is rather unloved by his mother but has a great laughing relationship with his father [later revealed to be his step-dad]. He’s grown up knowing his mother never really wanted him which, I imagine, is a terrible thing to live with. He seems to cope with it via humor, however its not everyone’s type of humor and therefore gets translated as misbehaving.

Antoine’s family life sucks because of his mother so he’s constantly running away from home, with the help of his BFF René. René is a great best friend and is always there for him [always giving him places to stay for the night] though because of both his and Antoine’s bad choices, one of them was bound to end up in police custody and alas, it ended up being Antoine. They’re young, they need to learn. They’re not bad kids which is what this film manages to show so perfectly. Its hard to explain because even though they’re doing bad things like stealing René’s father’s typewriter and their parent’s money, they have this child-like innocence which made me think that they don’t know better but they will learn from there mistakes even if it is too late. They’re young though, they can redeem themselves.

The acting in this is fantastic, the teenagers are amazing and so natural. Jean-Pierre Léaud was great as Antoine, especially in the interview scene near the end. Its such an important scene as it reveals a lot of the reasons why he misbehaves. Léaud was brilliant in this scene, he acted completely the way a teenager would in those circumstances, fiddling with the table, not always making eye contact and the way he spoke wasn’t like it was scripted at all. Why don’t we have good, young actors these days?!?!? Never smiling and having your eyes half shut is not acting [*couth* Kristen Stewart *cough*].

It’s a nice film and all but it never really grips you. Make sure you’re no where near a computer, cell phone or remote control, you’ll find your attention wander to the light switch.




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