Water Lilies ~ Naissance des Pieuvres
A debut movie from a French Female Director?
Yes yes, I am over ten years late but just like many of its kind, I just realised that I did not remember the movie fully either due to not finishing it or being pissed at it the first time I watched it and so I have revisited it to see what the fuss was all about.
I will say it again, 2007-2008 was the best period ever! This WTF gem came out during that period and while re-watching it I remembered why my brain tried very hard to forget about it! it dances on the edge of a razor blade and even by the end of the movie you are like…WTF?! That made sense without making sense!!
Water Lilies – isn’t it funny that Spider Lilies also came out in the same period and that it was also gay, gay GAY? I guess that explains things. Imagine watching Spider Lilies and then this right after! Yeah, the feeling of forgetting about it would definitely be there and super strong!
Water Lilies is another “silent” movie, and by that I don’t mean like the early century movies. I mean that there is barely any BGM playing in scenes so all your senses are focused on the characters, their reactions, their body movements, their words! Which is really good because you need 100% of your attention for movies like this one! Because if you don’t pay attention, like I did many years ago, you are just going to see everything on the surface and miss a lot more. Which would lead you to hating not only Floriane (the elder dirty blonde), but Marie (our main girl), Anne (the short-haired best friend of Marie’s) and eventually the whole movie!
I have to say I feel stupid now after watching the movie again. But hey, I was young then so…
Best way to describe this movie is that it is ‘RAW’! It does not hide what it is talking about! You will see what is supposed to be happening, no matter how bloody disgusting it is. You want an example? Marie is so smitten with Floriane that she went through her trash, smelled some cotton drab that Floriane used on God knows what and even went about eating an already half-eaten and half-bad apple!
I kid you not!
The kicker too is that Anne and Marie are 14, well, Anne is 14 and Marie might be younger than her. Floriane is of course a bit older, probably a year or two. The behaviours of these three might seem out there but it is not farfetched, believe me! My dear Readers are probably better people, were better kids than us at that age but I definitely remember crushing on someone when I was younger even than 14 and being so obsessed I did some crazy things!
But we know this by now, these days something realistic, especially in movies is so disliked to the point of being hated as if people don’t want to see the dark side of themselves, almost like being reprimanded by a teacher or your parents and getting angry despite being at fault and those people telling you the truth!
I should know, I reacted the same way to this movie 10 years ago!
But now that I am a bit older, now that I have experience, I can totally see these characters and their ‘flaws’, in quotes because I don’t see them as flaws. No one is at fault here. Everyone is actually very sympathetic and our main character Marie (Pauline Acquart) is just that much more pitiful! She is the one that suffers the most, or comes away with less than the other two! Seriously, I expected her to commit suicide by the end and the fact that she did not really makes me appreciate her strength!
Marie is obviously in love with Floriane. But there are so many reasons that her love would never be realised like Floriane being older than her, being popular with the guys, and probably having expectations that would never see her being with another girl. And yet through non-harmful circumstances she finds herself drawn in by Floriane so of course her expectations would rise but the higher they rise, the more dangerous the fall becomes.
Because you see Floriane also has her side of the story. She is almost hated by her fellow mates, she has no female friends because all te girls hate her and have this false image of her as a slut. But what they do not know is the fact that she is still a virgin, she’s never been with any other guys but her boyfriend and that she has never given out or gone farther than kissing.
Floriane actually has a fragility about her. She probably was looking for a great friend in Marie and she definitely understood that Marie had feelings for her so in order to not lose Marie’s friendship she had to do things to make sure that Marie stayed close, even if those things would damage Marie by placing false hop in her. What was clear was the Floriane really needed Marie.
Actually, if you are looking for a villain it is more Marie than Floriane. All Floriane’s actions, all her requests seemed like what one would expect from a friend. Like covering for her when she sneaks out with her boyfriend, or going with her to clubs in the night, or helping her get over her fear for her first time. I mean, if you can’t ask your friend that, who could you ask? Floriane’s requests seemed strange only because Marie had feelings for her.
Was Floriane wrong in keeping stringing Marie along despite knowing her feelings? probably. I mean, we are not 100% sure that she did not have feelings for Marie passed friendship.
Many people probably looked at the ending and came to the conclusion that Floriane was just a narcist but to me she looked hurt because she had yet to find true friendship in a girl. The only girl that could tolerate her and knew her just had to complicate matters by having romantic feelings for her but even more, Floriane did not seem that off-put by it. If Marie wanted to have sex in the future, Floriane would have probably accepted. She seemed okay with the compromise of having a friend.
Still, we are back to not knowing really if she also had feelings for Marie. The most telling is the ‘sex scene’ and what followed there after. Like I said Floriane was a virgin and on the night that her boyfriend finally wanted to do it, she asked Marie to help her get over the fear.
She basically gave up her virginity to Marie!
Let that sink in first and then let’s move onto the next point. This comes during said loss of virginity. I put the words ‘sex scene’ in quotes because France struck again! I have never seen such a weird sex scene! Nay, this was no sex scene! I believe this was what Sue was talking about when she said the girls called it ‘being fetched’!
But anyway, the point is that after said sex scene Floriane cried tears! No, it was not tears of pain from her losing her virginity. That moment passes real fast. It is sharp and painful but the pain is overtaken with the pleasures that follow. And yet instead of crying in the beginning where she was ‘broken’, she instead cried in the end after she so obviously got ‘fetched’!
What was the reason for those tears?
Then if we take a moment right after, Floriane’s boyfriend shows up at her door right after said event, they are obviously going to do it! Marie is so hurt inside she had to bite into her arm to keep from screaming out to the world in anguish.
But Floriane never does have sex with her boyfriend.
Jump farther ahead in time during another swimmers party (Floriane was the Captain of the female senior team and Anne a member of the junior team with Floriane’s boyfriend a member of the male team) and when Floriane sees Marie, the joy of seeing her again on her face was just…Remember, she doesn’t know that Marie knows that she did not have sex with the guy. Marie found out from Anne because the guy was actually cheating on Floriane with Anne. Where he wouldn’t have sex with Floriane he went for Anne. She is the one that told Marie that Floriane did not have sex wit the guy because he went to her instead.
The hug Floriane gives Maire…seriously, their hugs were just…I wish everyone hugged like that! It feels like it is not just a simple hug, especially this last was!
That of course leads to Marie finally letting her feeling known even though Floriane already knew. She let Marie kiss her and let it off her chest and while what she said might come off hurtful it was actually just her! She had used Marie for some hard tasks so giving Marie a kiss seemed like an earned reward.
To Floriane nothing changed after the kiss and really, nothing changed for Marie. Floriane was going to continue going after guys, and probably end up not having sex with them again, and Marie was going to continue crashing on Floriane and continue answering the weird requests from Floriane!
Not of course they all changed from when we first meet them! Anne finally got over her lust for Floriane’s boyfriend when she rejected his advances at the party. Marie fell in love, fetched and kissed her love and also grew emotionally. Meanwhile Floriane finally got a female friend, albeit with benefits and also lost her virginity – to a girl and probably kissed a girl for the first time.
And yet despite this it seems like they went back to square one!
By the way, before I forget to mention it, Anne and Marie are also actually shippable. Apparently Marie was Anne’s first kiss and despite being tested the still go back to being close friends like they were before.
It is kind of frustrating that we did not get a conclusive end to Marie and Floriane’s relationship and yet that vagueness of their ending; either their relationship continuing on as the strange relationship that it is or not seeing each other again seems more fruitful, if that makes sense!
Sigh, you will just have to watch the movie yourselves…if you already haven’t.
Here’s to one of the Best Kisses in Cinema.
May 28, 2018 at 23:41
If you’re reviewing older European movies might I suggest “Show Me Love” aka “Fuck Amal” – kinda surprised it’s not on this site.
May 30, 2018 at 00:36
Ah, this movie. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it but it left quite the impression.
Personally, I believe that Floriane is a lesbian. A closeted one who doesn’t want to be.
Floriane is the one who is more into the kiss and is also visually shaken by it. At one point she realizes this and snaps out of it. At this point Marie is the one in control, something which Floriane doesn’t want. Hence the insult towards the end, she has to be in control of herself and the image that she created at all times. Her wiping the lipstick off in front of the mirror represents the way she wants others to see her.
The synchronized swimming in the movie is a symbolism for Floriane’s struggles. She got to follow to societal expectations that are put on good looking women and do it with a smile while she kicks frantically under the surface. At the end, both Marie and Anne are floating and have accepted themselves and the circumstances in which they find themselves. Floriane hasn’t and went back to presenting a false image of herself.
That said, I do also believe that Marie is the one who disappoints the most in the end. Marie does represent a true friendship to Floriane and it’s something that she desperately craves. Marie, however, is only interested in one thing, and that is not being her friend. It’s rather sad.
The way the movie is presented is interesting because this is not the way most people will interpret this movie. Why? Because most people will see Floriane the same way as the people around her. We often judge and categorize people by their looks and behaviour and that is exactly what’s happening with this character. Because of societal pressure, some people will actually try to live up to the image that other’s push onto them. It’s rather tragic. And such tragedies will keep playing out as long as sexuality is defined by looks. Even in the gay community we are guilty of this. Femininity and masculinity are social constructs that aren’t innate to our biology, but teach people that they are (which society does) and you create a lot of confused and insecure people.
July 21, 2018 at 01:46
may i know how to extract the file ?
Because when i try extract it with winrar it say
‘the archive is either unknown or damaged’
July 24, 2018 at 19:44
The files work. See which is having problems and delete it then download it again.
Start extraction from Part 1! Set to keep broken files if all files are the right size before extracting (all should be the same but the last part)