Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 11th, 2017
Theatrical Release Date: France / Italy / Belgium, 1970
Director: Claude Chabrol
Writers: Claude Chabrol
Cast: Stéphane Audran, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Michel Bouquet, Annie Cordy, Jean-Claude Drouot, Jean Carmet
DVD released: April 5th, 2017
Approximate running time: 120 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: PG (Australia)
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono French
DVD Release: Umbrella Entertainment
Region Coding: Region 4 PAL (Australia)
Retail Price: $19.99
Synopsis: Helene reaches her breaking point with her husband Charles, after he severely injures their son during an argument. Unable to reconcile she files for divorce and to complicate matters further, her father in law plots against her to gain custody of her son.
La Rupture was written and directed by Claude Chabrol who’s other notable films include, Les Bonnes Femmes, Les Biches, Juste avant la nuit and Les noces rouges. Key collaborators on La Rupture include, cinematographer Jean Rabier (Cleo from 5 to 7) and composer Pierre Jansen (Le Boucher).
At the center of this psychological thriller is a tale rooted in deceit. With the main conflict revolving around a child. On one side, there is the child’s mother who no longer can live with her abusive husband and she just wants to start a new life with her child. On the other side of the equation, is her husband father who has never liked her and he uses the opportunity to take the child away from his mother, as a means to inflict her with pain.
Family quarrels aside, all of the evidence sides with the mother as the one who should get custody. And not wanting to lose his grandson to the same women who corrupted his son. He puts in motion a devious plan to unbalanced her sanity.
Content wise, Claude Chabrol once again takes on the subject of classism and from a production standpoint he delivers in spades. The narrative is well constructed and pacing is never an issue as key moments are given an ample amount of time to resonate. The is a character driven film and characters are well defined.
The cast are all very good in their respective roles. With this film’s standout performance being Stéphane Audran (The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, Blood Relatives) in the role of Hélène Régnier, the protagonist whose life is thrown into turmoil after a violent outburst from her husband injures their son. Other notable performances include, Michel Bouquet (The Bride Wore Black) in the role of Ludovic Régnier, the wealthy father in law of the protagonist and Jean-Pierre Cassel (Malpertuis) in the role of Paul Thomas, the man hired to make Hélène look like she is an unfit mother.
The film’s visuals do a superb job reinforcing the mounting tension. With standout moments visually including, the film’s opening scene which sets the story at hand in motion and the film’s psychedelic infused carnage filled finale. Another standout moments visually is a scene where Paul and his girlfriend Sonia (who is impersonating Hélène) show a mentally disabled adolescent girl named Elise pornographic films. And while this is occurring Sonia caresses Elise who has also been drugged by Paul.
La Rupture is presented in an anamorphic widescreen. Though the source used is in very good shape. There are some very minor instances of print related debris. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, black levels fare well, details generally look crisp and there are no issues with compression. When compared to this film’s U.S. DVD release, this transfer is a slight improvement.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in French and non-removable English subtitles have been included for this release. There are no issues with distortion or background noise, dialog is clear and everything sounds balanced. The more ambient aspects of these mixes are well represented and range wise when it needs too.
This release comes with no extra content.
Overall La Rupture gets a strong audio / video presentation from Umbrella Entertainment.