Christine and Gilles are rebellious, young lovers who have grown tried of their families and the monotony of their every day lives. When Christine is caught shoplifting, her father sends her away to a boarding school for mentally troubled teens, separating the two young lovers. Though, this proves to be only a temporary problem, as Christine plans to escape and runaway with Gilles, who she views as the love of her life. Written and directed by Olivier Assayas, Cold Water is a unique take on a beautiful love story set in a rather bleak cinematic universe of troubled youths. Our two main protagonists aren't abused or neglected by their parents, fitting none of the typical cliches of the "troubled youth" genre yet the youth nihilism which Olivier Assayas is going for is very prevalent. The film is essentially a deconstruction of troubled youth, feeling very bleak at times, with this romance being the only light in the film, though even this relationship feels doomed. It's clear that the two love each other very much, but it's clear that they don't have the experience or knowledge-base necessary to support themselves, even if they believe they do. The ending is brilliant and perfectly captures the youthful exuberance and naivety, though in a subtle way. "Cold Water' is a great companion film to Bresson's masterful "The Devil, Probably" in foreboding unease, though while I found Cold Water to be more emotionally affecting, the films social meaning isn't nearly as powerful or clearly defined as Bresson's film.
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