Chacun sa nuit (One to Another) (2006)





Visually, it''s a fine movie. It looks great, with an attractive cast, excellent color cinematography, especially the lighting, and well-composed frames.

And the story is based on true events, provocative, at that. Four young guys, and one young woman named Lucie, explore life and love, perform in a band, and generally hang out together in modern day France. One of the guys (Pierre) is Lucie''s brother. When Pierre goes missing and is presumed dead, Lucie sets about to find out what happened to him.

Except for the musical performances, "Chacun sa nuit" is generally a slow, quiet film, with very long camera "takes". Characters spend a lot of time lounging around in the nude, sulking, dawdling, brooding, lost in thought. The script is not overly talky, thankfully. Indeed, the dialogue is measured, deliberate, contemplative.

But, the film''s structure is difficult, for several reasons. First, the script''s inciting incident happens off-screen, which renders some confusion as to what is going on, in the first half. Second, events do not occur chronologically. Instead, flashbacks to the time when Pierre was alive alternate with events after his death. And that compounds the confusion, especially the first time I watched the film. The second viewing did help to clarify the plot.

In addition, given that the other three guys (Nicolas, Sebastien, and Baptiste) are all about the same age, the same height, and have similar appearances, I found it hard to keep them straight ... so to speak.

I wish the film''s script had gone through another rewrite or two. A few changes here and there could have clarified who was who and what was happening. But despite a less than perfect script, "Chacun sa nuit" is a film worth watching, for the beautiful cinematography; for the provocative, underlying concept; and for a story that is based on real-life events.





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