Portrait of a Lady on Fire Movie Review


Portrait of a Lady on Fire Movie Review 

Greek mythology includes an abundance of love myth that comes in many forms, one love myth that will be mention in this paper is Orpheus and Eurydice. Orpheus joined an expedition, and, on his return, his wife Eurydice died from a snakebite, overcome with grief for his wife he went to the underworld in order to retrieve his wife. In this myth, there were themes such as forbidden love, passion, and heartbreak. These three themes are common in many other love story myths in today’s movie. The movie that the essay will specifically be focused on is entitled Portrait of a Lady on Fire. The movie directed by Céline Sciamma, takes place ion 1770 France, with a painter who traveled to do the portrait of a reluctant bride, the bride Hèloïse, was to not know about the painter’s reason for being there and the painter watches and paints her. This movie also includes forbidden love, passion, and heartbreak like the other love myths. 

The first theme that will be discussed is forbidden love, in Portrait of a Lady on Fire, throughout the entire movie Marianne is spending her day watching the bride Hèloïse, in order for her to be able to paint her. In the process of painting her, she fells in love and so does Hèloïse, however it is known that they will not be able to be together. The reason is that their love has limitation and is not accepted into the society at the time, though they were free in some way there are always limitations on what they can and can not do. Both know that their love and role in society would not be so easily changed however, they are tempted and would find ways around it. This is shown as they would spend the night together in the dark, in addition to the forbidden aspect it was not only love that was restricted but also within society. Marianne was free as a painter; however, all her work was under the name of her father and she was forbidden from drawing nudity of males. For Hèloïse, she is put into a situation where she must wed someone in her sister’s place.  

The scene that is described can be related to the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, as Orpheus was walking out with Eurydice, he was forbidden from looking back at his wife. The forbidden aspect in the love makes the love more tempting and this could lead to the destruction of the 

Another theme that appear in the movie was passion, the scene that was displayed

The last theme that appeared in the film is heartbreak, Hèloïse is seen in a wedding gown as the artist is leaving. This will be the last memory for both the characters, this scene would resemble the myth where Orpheus turns to look at his wife. Within the movie the action of Orpheus was questioned since, he could have waited, and they would have been together. However, the protagonist claimed that maybe this was their chance to say their last goodbye, for their last memory together. The film tries to portray that maybe it was not Orpheus who was the one who made a choice but the wife Eurydice, she may have been the one who told her husband to turn around. This exact interpretation of the myth would occur in the film as Hèloïse would tell the artist to look back. This was heartbreaking for both, knowing that they would not be able to be together and everything that has happened between them will have to remain in their memory. Which is showcased in the scene after, as the artist is at an event and she sees the painting of Hèloïse. Which brought smiles on her face when the reference page of twenty-eight appears. The heartbreak was not one-sided as Marianne once again encounters Hèloïse, who is at a theater listening to the music that Marianne played for her bring back both joy and sadness. Heartbreak is apparent in love myth that does not end in happily ever after, and that is exactly what is portrayed in the film. 



 

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