First Impression: After Love or 'The Economy of a Breakup'

Deena Refai, Thursday 10 Nov 2016

After Love is screened in the European Cinema section of the ongoing Panorama of the European Film, 2-13 November

After Love
(Photo: still from After Love)

After spending 15 years together, Marie and Boris ― parents to twin girls Jade and Margaux ― decide to call it quits. The breakup, meanwhile, triggers further dissent as the couple fight over custody of their twins and visitation rights.

Yet, as the literal translation of the French title, ‘L'Économie du couple’ (‘The Economy of a Couple’) implies, the breakup is more about financials.

Years ago, Marie ― the family’s breadwinner ― depended on her inheritance from her deceased wealthy father to buy a luxurious home, and the not-so-well-to-do Boris helped in renovating it.

Now Boris, who is struggling to make ends meet, does not want to leave the house or proceed with the divorce unless the reluctant Marie agrees to pay him for his renovation efforts that constitute his share in the house as well as the marriage.

Thus, Marie and Boris are left literally and metaphorically trapped in an unresolved situation within the fashionably elegant home they have assembled together, while struggling to provide balance and harmony for their children.

Unlike the many other films that portray the drama that unfolds from a breakup, acclaimed Belgian director Joachim Lafosse presents ‘L'Économie du couple’ as a close study that documents the casualty of the collapse in familial relations — between husband and wife, and parents and children.

Although the English title ― ’After Love’ ― infers that the love and care between Marie and Boris has ended, a few scenes and moments suggest otherwise. This further complicates the consequences of the breakup for Marie, Boris, Jade, Margaux and those who surround them.

Academy Award nominee Bérénice Bejo (The Artist) and critically acclaimed actor Cédric Kahn (Roberto Succo) add eloquence, depth and authenticity to their roles as Marie and Boris respectively, leaving audiences divided on who to support.



After Love (L'Économie du couple) will be screened Saturday, 12 November, at 6:30pm at Cinema Karim in Cairo

Check here the complete programme of Panorama for Cairo, Alexandria, Ismailia and Port Said

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