The Breach (1970)

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The Breach (1970). 2h 4m

“The Breach (aka La rupture) is a film made by celebrated French director Claude Chabrol in the middle of his golden period at the turn of the 70u0026#39;s. Like most of his other films from this time, it is a psychological thriller that is more interested in character interactions than in suspense. While it is true that there is some of that present here too, there isnu0026#39;t a lot and the film only truly moves into thriller territory in its final quarter. In fact, the switch is quite jarring and has left some thinking it doesnu0026#39;t fit very well alongside what has gone before. I kind of liked the ending though, it isnu0026#39;t especially realistic and even becomes a bit surreal, yet the story on the whole has got an oddness about it generally, typified by the unsettling and somewhat off-centre musical score used throughout. The story revolves around a woman called Hélène who is the wife of a rich layabout drug addict. One day he attacks her and their child, leaving the boy hospitalised. Hélène attacks him back leaving him with a head injury. His rich father hires a sleazy friend of the family to befriend Hélène with the objective of incriminating her, leading to a divorce that would favour his son.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eLike a lot of Chabrolu0026#39;s best works this one stars his wife, the radiant Stéphane Audran who is, once more, extremely good and sympathetic as Hélène, Jean-Pierre Cassel is also impressive as her manipulative u0026#39;friendu0026#39;, while it would be remiss not to mention Catherine Rouvel also, who is a lot of fun as his highly sexed girlfriend who pleasingly spends most of the film in a state of undress (ooh la la). In fact, there is a plethora of oddball side characters in this one, most live in the boarding house where the majority of the action revolves around, such as three old ladies who continually play with Tarot cards, a mentally-backwards girl and an overly-dramatic actor. On top of this, itu0026#39;s nicely photographed, especially in the surreal park scene towards the end where things get a little trippy. The film criticises the bourgeois, with the rich grandparents acting like it is their right to dictate events purely on account of their financial strength. But the film works mainly as an off-kilter psychological drama/thriller, underpinned by fine acting and some good direction.”


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