inette, Rita, Jacqueline and Jane try to find fulfillment and love in their lives. Rita has a fiancé whose family is obsessed with social distinction; Jane has a boy-friend in the army, but does not hesitate to enjoy herself with chance encounters; Ginette has a mysterious passion that keeps her away from her colleagues at nights. Jacqueline is lonely; but who is that mysterious bike-rider who is constantly following her?
Be careful. Claude Chabrol’s early film can initially under-whelm, especially in the first 9/10th’s of the narrative, but upon re-examination it appears to address a number of prevalent themes and issues. Especially that love and danger can wander very close together. It starts by representing a drab and dingy Paris of the early sixties with pretty four shop-keeping girls who are looking for love, whilst fending off the advances of two obvious would-be lothario’s. While their lecherous and petty boss savors every opportunity to deliver an almost comedic dressing down, the girls find emotional escape by casually flirting with delivery men, wandering the nightclubs or gossiping about the enigmatic motorcyclist following Jacqueline, the doe-eyed romantic. For the vulnerable, timid Jacqueline, his dogged persistence can only signify the true love in which she fervently longs for. Her nagging suspicions are too easily overcome and even this potential beau, named Ernest, is aware of her failing. Claude Chabrol’s film is a deft blend of frank eroticism, moments of Hitchcockian suspense and the cinematic derring-do of the best of the French New Wave.
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