Saturday, February 21, 2009

Netflix: Charlotte Gray (2001)

Now with "spoilers"!

I'm usually not to much of a stickler in the "speaking English where it's not an English-speaking country" vein. I mean, it is kind of annoying and strange for every Roman to have a British accent, but I assume that's better than a bad faux-Italian accent. And maybe the producers don't know any good Italian actors and this isn't Fellini where we're dubbing audio on top of the actors random mouth-mushings (paraphrasing Day for Night here).

But, Charlotte Gray is supposed to be about a Scottish Londoner who becomes a member of British secret service and is assigned a mission with the French resistance. Wherein she continually compromises herself and others in an attempt to learn about her downed pilot boyfriend.

Generally, the non-native speaker spy is a good plot device. Will Vichy French peasants notice that she just dropped a "bullocks!" amidst discussion of baguettes? This possibility is entirely lost. I think they needed to do something to indicate to us when she was supposed to be in "French mode". Perhaps something like this:

Charlotte comes to find out there her boyfriend is dead. She's sad. Then, at the end, it turns out her boyfriend is alive. Apparently her disillusioning overlords had presented manipulated evidence to make her think he was dead so she was no longer pining whilst she was supposed to be spying. She like wasn't even happy when she saw him. Very, meh. She gives him a fist-bump, denies him the reunion hook-up and returns to France to be with her commie revolutionary. Hmm.

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