|model of Villa Arpel|
Each element of Villa Arpel is representational rather than functional, an environment completely hostile to the comfort of its occupants. In choosing modern architecture to punctuate his satire, Tati once stated, "Les lignes géométriques ne rendent pas les gens aimables" ("geometrical lines do not produce likeable people"). from Wikipedia From pas japonais, stepping stones, positioned like mine fields, weird, hardly comfortable furniture and a kitchen with booby trap-esque controls and appliances, Villa Arpel emphasises the supremacy of superficial aesthetics and electrical gadgets over the reality of daily living. All this to impress those who work FOR M. Arpel and the neighbors (who live in smaller, less impressive homes). The Arpels were huge show off to those who did not "have" and looked down their nose to the less ambitious uncle (who never was honored with the fish fountain being turned on).
|Looks like the this guest deserves the honor of the fish fountain being turned on.|
The Arpels might have been ridiculous, stuck up, and all around pretentious but this film is worth checking out. The set design was so much a part of the film that one might not notice the entire dialogue is in French. A few scenes come to mind when hardly a word was spoken, other than mumbles and rambling.
|The uncle in the booby trap of a kitchen|
There are subtitles, although not many, as there is not that much dialogue. It is a very physical and scenic movie, not much dialogue is needed to tell the story. Please do not let it being a foreign film turn you off. I highly recommend this film if only to see the Villa.
|Mme. Showing off to the neighbor.|
|M. Arpel "relaxing" in the courtyard of the villa.|