Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Dreamers

The portal to desire is often through self-expression. Both, discovered and spent in the same breath, are often interlaced. We can’t know what desire is and yearn for it if we don’t know how to unrestrainedly express ourselves. And when that happens, does it matter who we express ourselves to? That self that one sees tucked away in somebody else is but the object of one’s desire. This person is an extension of our own mind and soul. So, one desires nobody but oneself.

The Dreamers is a bold, gripping, and aligned film. It highlights French cinema and how the New Wave directors rewired perspective; brought it to fruition in Paris, it’s the ‘60s, with films like Godard’s Breathless or Truffaut’s The 400 Blows or Bergman’s Persona inspiring the human spirit. The film is philosophically shot – assimilating cues from these very films. And at the center of it all is the titillating cast – Eva Green, Michael Pitt, and Louis Garrel.

As I was watching the film, I was reminded of why films are essential to me. It’s one of those scenes that have nothing special in them, no sudden transformation, no fireworks, nothing. There’s silence and stillness. That’s where the actors are the most defenseless and stripped down to their purest performances. There are many such moments in The Dreamers. Conveyed in absolute freedom, the intimacy, unpretentiousness, the naivete of innocence and youth, you see them all here. It is here, too, that you feel the necessity of such self-expression and the reluctance of it.