HELAS POUR MOI ("Alas for Me") is the story of a pagan god who impersonates a woman's husband for the purpose of engaging in a sexual affair with her. Loosely based on Greek myth, this unrated and subtitled film is at first driven by a sense of spiritual longing but ultimately takes a downward turn and spirals into despair.
HELAS POUR MOI, the latest film from revolutionary French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, translates into English as “Alas for Me.” Loosely based on Greek myth, this unrated and subtitled film is the story of a pagan god who impersonates a woman’s husband for the purpose of engaging in a sexual affair with her. Once his goal is accomplished, he leaves the woman and her village languishing in a state of spiritual despair. In contrast to its dark conclusion, HELAS POUR MOI begins with promise, as one of the main characters laments the spiritual poverty of the modern world. From there, however, instead of climbing toward hope and redemption, an unstoppable entropy develops. The story proceeds to spiral downward in hopelessness.
HELAS POUR MOI is skillfully made, beautifully photographed and scored with the best in classical music. The actors’ performances, including Gerard Depardieu, are more than adequate. However ultimately, there is little heart or soul here. Director/writer Godard continues in his chosen path of promoting radical political ideas. This film is difficult to approach, other than to follow the despairing path laid out by the filmmakers. Alas for them. HELAS POUR MOI is a twisted, confusing exercise in futility.
(NA, AB, LL, SS, NNN, A) New age, pagan worldview with heavy political message; blasphemy -- one character portrayed as a god; 8 obscenities & 5 profanities; implied adultery; extensive female nudity; and, alcohol use but not abuse.