It came with subtitles

Molière.

When I bought this film, I meant to ask the guy in the DVD place to play it for me so that I could find out whether it had English subs. I forgot, hence I didn’t find out until last night that it did. As I’ve noted in the past, it’s rare to find a French film with English subs in China.

In the film, Molière, under the alias M. Tartuffe, takes up a post with the wealthy M. Jourdain who is trying to improve himself so that he’ll be worthy of the intelligent and beautiful, but waspish and bitchy Célimene. Jourdain is a talentless clod with a lot of money who is being duped out of large sums by his go-between, Dorante. Jourdain’s wife, Elmire, is more intelligent and more talented than her husband and ends up having a brief affair with Molière. The playwright eventually saves the day by preventing the arranged marriage of Jourdain’s daughter to the son of the impecunious Dorante so that she can marry the man she really loves. Molière returns to Paris with a new farce (Tartuffe) based on these events before he takes his troupe on a tour of the provinces.

I assume that the film is heavily predicated on Tartuffe. It’s played as a farce. M. Jourdain has no idea that he has no talent and is imperceptive. For instance, he can’t see that his daughter’s so-called singing teacher is actually and obviously her boyfriend. When Elmire tries to extract money out of her husband to pay off Dorante by claiming that their daughter is being held for ransom on a galley, the whole scheme is blown apart by the daughter’s unexpected return home.

Overall, one of the better films I’ve seen recently.

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