Monday, August 31, 2009

Non, je ne regrette rien

"No, I don't feel sorry,
Not the good things people have done to me,
Not the bad things, it's all the same to me,
It's paid for, removed, forgotten,
I'm happy of the past,

With my memories,
I let up the fire,
My troubles, my pleasures,
I don't need them anymore,
Because my lie, my joys,
Today, they begin with you." Edith Piaf, Non, je ne regrette rien

Today, I watched a movie that shock me to the core, partly from the story, but mostly from the phenomenal performance of the actress; Marion Cotillard. The movie of course is no other than "La vie en rose" which tells - in the always unique French way - the story of the prominent French singer Edith Piaf, whose songs are so well known even here in the Arab world even if they don't know her name.

Edith Piaf

The film tells the story in a unique way and not in a chronological order; but rather it divides her life - which is fairly tragic - into phases of mutiny, fame, happiness, stubbornnesss, and final acceptance. It's much like the life of anyone of us. What amazed me in the movie was the performance of Marion Cotillard, which earned her an Oscar for best actress in a leading role that was the first to be given to a French actress in a French film. That performance was so effortless and so transparent that I couldn't believe this was not Edith Piaf as a young singer who cared for nothing and as an old woman with a broken heart but not a broken spirit.

Marion Cotillard, and as Edith Piaf

The other thing that amazed me, and amazes me still in every biography made in film, is the dedication of the film makers to make the personalities look and feel exactly like the real people they depict, and the hard work put to make the general atmosphere of the movie reminiscent of the period and the mindset the director wants the audience to have. Edith Piaf's life was dark, full of tragic events and utter disregard for what people want from her as a star, yet, the only true and heavenly light in her life was her true love, to which she was loyal even when the appearances said differently. She was so true to the lyrics she sang in "Hymne À L'Amour":

If one day life tears you away from me,
If you die or you might be far away from me,
It matters little to me, if you love me,
Because I will die also,

We will have eternity to ourselves,
In the blue beyond,
In heaven, no more problems,
My love, do you believe that we love each other?

It was a great film to me, it made me feel! All I could wish for then was that her last line in this song is true as well, because this is the noble thing anyone who felt true love could wish for:

God reunites those who love each other!


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