What You Need To Know:
(NA, L, VV, SS) Ultimately nihilistic & materialistic worldview; several obscenities in French not translated in the subtitles; graphic close-ups of soldiers killed in action; and, marital intercourse, no nudity.
COLONEL CHABERT is a likely candidate for Best Foreign Film of the year. Artfully directed by Yves Angelo, this film cleverly explores the shattered marriage between Colonel Chabert, who had been reported killed in action years earlier, and his remarried wife Countess Ferraud, through the prism of legal maneuvering. Based on a novel by Balzac and starring Gerard Depardieu, COLONEL CHABERT is ultimately about love soured by materialism and insecurity. At first, Chabert is intent upon destroying his wife since he has lived in poverty during his years of convalescence and seeks revenge. Soon, however, the old love prevails, and he attempts to rekindle her love. Finally, Chabert loses hope in his wife as he discovers her true priorities in life.
Ultimately the film’s vision, as seen through Chabert’s eyes, is nihilistic. This lost hope is broadened into a generalization: with few exceptions, Chabert believes that humanity will undoubtedly find his conclusions inadequate in light of their Christian beliefs. However, many insights can be garnered from COLONEL CHABERT’s study in characterization and human relations. In spite of its bleak appraisal of the human condition, it offers much in the way of insight into the minds of people consumed by materialism and destroyed by unrequited love.