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The Bridesmaid

3.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description



A lean, elegant, and venomous thriller, The Bridesmaid is less concerned with sneaky plot twists than with slithering under your skin. A young man named Phillip (Benoit Magimel, The Piano Teacher), who's been pouring all his energy into his job, meets a lovely young woman named Senta (Laura Smet, Gille's Wife) at his sister's wedding. Lured in by Senta's beauty and obsessive passion, Phillip finds himself sinking into Senta's strangely out-of-synch world--and her unsettling demands. Director Claude Chabrol is justly famous for his sinuous thrillers (such as La Ceremonie and La Fleur du Mal) and often called the French Hitchcock, but Chabrol's suspense is very different from Hitchcock's. Chabrol unpeels the layers of Phillip's mind--for example, Chabrol spends as much time on the young man's relationship with his mother as on his affair with Senta, grounding the story firmly in Phillip's psyche. As a result, when Phillip struggles to hold onto Senta, the unstable emotions are as suspenseful as a ticking bomb. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

  • "Chabrol directs The Bridesmaid" documentary
  • Director Interview
  • Director Biography & Filmography
  • Photo Gallery

Product Details

  • Actors: Benoît Magimel, Laura Smet, Aurore Clément, Bernard Le Coq
  • Directors: Claude Chabrol
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: First Run Features
  • DVD Release Date: March 20, 2007
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000LPS4FC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,506 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Bridesmaid" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Chabrol here tackles obsession, and does it masterfully. This is really the story of two obsessed people, not one. One's a man and one's a woman, and each somehow instantly recognizes in the other, upon first meeting, that they are kindred spirits.

It's easy to see this recognition and also easy to see the obsessiveness in each. Senta--incredibly sensual--is, one realizes fairly quickly, a storyteller, a pathological liar. Philippe is obsessed with his mother and with the stone bust of what appears to be a Roman goddess. If the viewer looks closely--VERY closely--it's not hard to see that the faces of the goddess, Senta, and Philippe's mother are all very similar. At one point in the film, he kisses the stone bust on the lips. Is this normal? I think not. In fact, near the beginning of the film, we are amazed to find that the somewhat older woman whom Philippe obviously appears attracted to and whom he physically relates to, in the outside world, as one would a lover, is in fact his mother. This is definitely not normal behavior.

The pacing here is flawless. Chabrol is, one could say, the undisputed master at probing relentless behavior founded on obsession, and here he is really in his element, as he was in his last truly great film, La Ceremonie. While The Bridesmaid still does not have the astonishing intensity and depth of the 1995 film, it is nevertheless a terrific piece of work that never takes a false step.

The DVD is graced with a nice (text) interview with Chabrol, as well as with a short but telling on-the-set featurette. In the interview, Chabrol notes that one of the key elements of any good thriller is a corpse. This does turn up in The Bridesmaid, but in a startling--even shocking--way, as the viewer will see.

Very highly recommended and a welcome return to the pleasures of Chabrol the master of psychological obsession and its dire consequences.
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Format: DVD
I think to say that this film fails because of its implausibility is to miss the point. And to say that Phillip is too "normal" to ever get involved with Senta is to misread this film. From the very start before we ever meet Senta, Phillip is quite obviously attracted to his mother with whom he still lives. He's also strangely attracted to a stone head that decorates the family garden. When the mother decides to give this stone head away to her new love interest, Phillip is jealous and he misses the mothers affections; and he wants his mother's lover dead. Once he accepts that his mother loves another, he transfers all of his love onto the cold object that once decorated the family garden and he longs for its return. When Phillip meets Senta, a human as cold as his beloved stone head, he is given permission to explore his desires (and those desires may seem "unnatural" or "abnormal" or "perverse", it all depends on what you perceive to be "natural" or "normal" or "healthy"). In the world of Chabrol, however, the perverse is the normal and so Chabrol is the perfect director to adapt Rendell's perfectly transparent studies of garden variety psycho and sociopaths. The beauty of Charbol is that everything, from the most ordinary to the most extraordinary, is presented in the same mundane way. Nothing surprises Chabrol's camera. Its his utter neutrality that excites the viewer. His subject matter is Hitchcockian but his treatment of that subject matter is singularly Chabrol.

Not quite as good as La Ceremonie (but then no film of the last ten years has been). Top-drawer Chabrol nonetheless.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The opinions of previous reviewers demonstrate a significant degree of dissatisfaction with this work of Chabrol, five of 13 rating it only 3 stars. Personally, I think even this is too high. The director has become such an icon of the thriller genre that most who appraise his work treat him with awe and reverence bordering on idolatry. With an output of nearly 60 films, it is inevitable that among his masterpieces, mediocre and even downright bad work will be found. Unfortunately, this film falls into the latter category. It is not all Chabrol's fault. There is not much he can do with the silly material coming from the pen of Ruth Rendell. Indeed, all the usual Chabrol characteristics that have made him a towering figure in the cinema are on full display here: brilliant pacing and cutting; skillful use of tracking and close-ups; and a camera technique that can bring out the poetry and beauty of everyday landscapes, as well as the emotional anguish of ordinary people. Everything here hinges on the moral metamorphosis of the central character that, despite the mileage made by some reviewers about his infatuation with a statue, does not pass the test of reasonable credibility. What we are left with is a set of case histories of dysfunctional individuals with whom it is hard to empathize, not a promising recipe for a really good work of art in any medium. As I mentioned, there is much to admire in Chabrol's seminal contribution to this work, to which one could add above-average acting skills in the cast as a whole, and a screenplay that is taut yet expressive. It is the content that lets the whole show down. In the final analysis, the more a work of art focuses upon important universal issues, the greater its artistic stature and its likelihood of enduring.Read more ›
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