See the Sea (1997) - Francois Ozon
Living in the Ile d'Yeu, a peaceful and isolated beach community off the Atlantic coast of France, Sasha, a young Englishwoman, is alone with her baby daughter. Tatiana, a cynical backpacker, turns up on Sasha's doorstep, asking if she can pitch a tent in the backyard. Sasha is wary but agrees, intrigued by the mysterious woman who seems to come from a very different background than her own. The two woman build a rapport, with Tatiana's edginess generating sexual tension which inevitably leads to hostility. Francois Ozon's See The Sea is subtlety effective thriller that slowly and emphatically builds up to its devastating conclusion. Sasha and Tatiana couldn't be more different, with Sasha being the domesticated housewife-type and Tatiana being the rebel, but Ozon crafts this story in a way that shows how similar they truly can be. Tatiana represents Sasha's repressed desires, being a free spirit whose never felt the shackles of a domestication but what unfolds in the climax of the film captures how the same could be said in reverse. Through the course of the film it becomes apparent that something is truly wrong with Tatiana but Ozon never tips his hat completely, letting the film slowly build tension through its incredibly simple approach. Being under sixty minutes in length, Francios Ozon's See By The Sea is a simple and effective thriller that subtlety explores feminine roles in society.
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