Jean is an unpleasant, domineering man who controls his relationships in a way which many would describe as abusive. Though he still lives with his wife, their marriage together is loveless, with Jean being in the middle of a long affair with a much younger woman in Catherine. Maurice Pialat's We Won't Grow Old Together is a searing portrait of a destructive relationship between Catherine and Jean. The dynamics between the two of them could only be described as as turbulent as we see inclinations of their love for each other, which are routinely interrupted by Jean's outbursts of anger. The film examines the circular effect of their relationship as we repeatedly witness Jean and Catherine breaking-up in sometimes very explosive ways only to reconcile and get back together. As the film progresses, it becomes clear that even though Jean is the abusive person in the relationship, he is the one who is truly attached to Catherine, with little ability to live without her. What separates Maurice Pialat's film from so many others is how this film is focused much more on the aggressor than the one being abused. This is Jean's story through and through and while he is hard character to like, their are sequences in which sympathy is felt. In a way it's his fear of losing her which is his undoing, with his attempts at control almost always ending in anger and abuse - alienating poor Catherine farther and farther away. In one of the few scenes which shows Jean's love, he meets with his father to ask if he can give Catherine his mother's wedding ring. It is clear that Jean loves Catherine, yet his pent up rage and anger end up being the ultimate detriment, destroying any true chance he has at growing old with her.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.