The parts written, directed & played by Louis de Funes are exceptional ; the scene where Harpagon is opressed and hounded by old women bearing empty sacks is emblematic, not merely for French cinema, or for cinema in general, but for life on Earth altogether, and from a time before writing. Indeed, those insufferable cheesecunts going about ambushing people are a worse curse upon the place than any veneral disease could ever hope to be. Worse than almost anything else befouling what'd otherwise be a very pleasant place, with, perhaps, the exception of the many sour fruit of the ars longa, vita brevis tree. Furthermore, his unmitigated joy in the closing scene, when he gets, among the other things he must get, also a new set of clothes, of happy, joyous, but very personal clothes... Harpagon lives through de Funes as a wholesome, complete, integral choice. He's not merely a credible character, but actually a truthful type, he is what, while none of us are (nor could ever be, choice irrespective), precisely all of us are.
Unfortunately, the Moliere play also includes a bunch of other people, which Funes (true to part) has very little use or need of, in the film. It is with genuine tedium that one perceives the camera perspective has switched, and now it's going to follow that stupid cuntlet about for a while. Not even competent nudity could save her part, nobody gives a shit, just get the fuck lost and let's get back to Harpagon! And that's not even mentioning the various dudes, never has there been a more intolerable crew of inamorati known to man! Which situation precludes the end product from being a film, you realise this, it's closer to a vivacious interview of Louis de Funes than anything in the cinematographic vein.
Yet even so broken, it endures, the parts that are good being so very, very good we don't even miss their being mere parts, bare fragments of a supposed whole. What if the multi-ton hunk of Ozymandias remaining is the best part of the whole statue-cum-town ensemble ? It is, after all, the portion that survived, is it not ?———
- 1980, by Louis de Funes (aka Jean Girault), written by Louis de Funes (aka Jean Girault). With Louis de Funes (no Jean Girault). [↩]