“Have You Faced Many Challenges in your Life?” – Jeune Femme (Film Review)

*** Stars

Jeune Femme‘s protagonist Paula isn’t just a character, in her struggles and self-discoveries we can recognise ourselves. After being left by her long time boyfriend Joachim, Paula steals his cat and wanders the streets of Paris making new friends, trying to patch things up with her mother, seeking for a job, and attempting to figure herself out. When she finds out about her pregnancy, she has to decide whether to return to Joachim who has crawled back to her life, or pursue the newly found independence.

The director Léonor Serraille successfully communicates the psychological state of the heroine through close-ups. It appears to be a new trend to follow young female leads as they go about their daily struggles with a close-up camera. If anything, this makes for a great character study, and allows the facial expressions to tell their own story – one perhaps more truthful than conveyed by action and dialog. Paula’s story is uplifting and motivating for young girls, like myself, and shows us that despite the situation, there is nothing we can’t do. Throughout the course of the narrative, Paula goes through immense character development, she becomes more independent and learns to assert herself. She learns how to have the final say, no matter what others are telling you. 

Nevertheless the story of the film might be slightly boring for the adult audiences, but Laetitia Dosch’s performance as Paula saved the film from falling into total impassivity, and is quite spectacular on its own. The snappy editing and the melancholic and jazzy score by Julie Roué emphasise Dosch’s performance and Paula’s combat against the world that appears oblivious of her existence. Jeune Femme is a light and entertaining watch, pleasant in its execution, and will leave you to exit the screening room with a tad more self-determination and fearlessness.

 

Dir: Léonor Serraille

Scr: Léonor Serraille

Cast: Laetitia DoschSouleymane Seye Ndiaye,Grégoire Monsaingeon

Prd: Sandra da Fonseca

DOP: Emilie Noblet

Music: Julie Roué

Country: France

Year: 2017

Run Time: 97min