Reading "Amour", part two

Information as emotion

The next ten pages seem like the next round of a dance figure.  It starts slow and seemingly away from the main subject: there is a conversation between the visiting daughter and the husband.  The illness of the mother is revealed only at the end. It is done in such a way that it ceases to be the information delivery.  Instead, it is a powerful revelation of the trauma that has been caused in the universe of Anne and Georges.  Another trick consists of mixing the graveness of the situation (the operation went bad) with Georges reaction (yawning).  Quite disturbing counter move since we already know that he cares a lot, to say the least. 

Then comes a surprise move: Anne is brought home and Georges waits there for her.  This means this is their first time close and together, the first time he has to learn how to handle her.  This writing maneuver borders on not plausible - didn’t the hospital offer the husband basic lesson about how to handle the wife?  However it also heightens the tension and the awkwardness between the couple.  

We have just “witnessed” or rather read the second movement of a dance or a tragedy.  While the first started with a gloomy scene (the police enters the place of death), the second begins with a neutral family talk which at first has nothing to do with the already established through-line of the story.  

I can pretty much image what I would.  It would be worse: the hospital, she is being discharged, a doctor offers him some pointers how to physically help her moving around.  They try with awkwardness.  Cut to their apartment: suddenly facing the reality, they sit paralyzed with the realization that they are facing unfaceable.  She announces “no more hospital”. 

Haneke designs this movement sharpening Georges’ anxiety and Anne’s horror.  Both emotions seem to be voiced through their respective denials.   The end of the scene has a potential for unbearable pitch.  I wonder how it is directed:

Then she notices that she’s forgotten her glasses. She rests the book back on the bed cover and fishes for her glasses on the night stand.In the end, she manages it. Then she opens the book again, and tries to read.

No comments:

Post a Comment