“Does your husband tell you you’re beautiful?”
Almost two years after production completed on Bel Ami, the indie film has finally arrived to eager moviegoers. Well, sort of. The official theatrical release for the film isn’t until June 8th, but that didn’t stop the powers at be from giving us a sneak peek. It’s times like these that I’m grateful for iTunes. Based on Guy de Maupassant’s 1885 novel, Bel Ami is a seductive drama, lined with deceptive characters with ill-intentions. A social climber using his looks and charm to get what he desires most. Power. Respect. Wealth. Here we find an intriguing plot, rich with gritty realism and soul.
The Story: Paris, 1890. It’s easy to see the motivation behind the actions of Georges Duroy (Robert Pattinson). Penniless and out-of-work, Georges longs for something more; money, power, women – everything he doesn’t have. Georges finds his opportunity when he is welcomed into the inner circle of Charles Forestier: a newspaper man. His wife, Madeleine (Uma Thurman), takes Georges under her wing, helping him write a series of articles about his time as a soldier. Their friends are captivated by the young man, willing to help the charming stranger. Instantly, Georges finds himself attracted to Clotilde (Christina Ricci). The feeling is mutual, both seeking each other out for a specific purpose. However, when Clotilde is no longer useful, Georges moves on. He soon finds Madeleine to be just what he needs. She is his ticket to success, the driving force behind his rise to power. Yet, he is still unable to gain the respect he wants, craves. It’s a story of sex; power. Using one to gain the other. There is no momentous revelation or great change for these characters. Their reality is their obsession.