Girl on the Bridge

 

This French film is wondrously original!  It was released in 1998 in black and white and its French title is Le Fille sure le Pont.  It stars Daniel Auteuil as Gabor a professional knife throwing entertainer and Vanessa Paradis as Adele the young woman he recruits to be his target.

 

She is about to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge in Paris when he meets her and tries to recruit her.  She jumps anyway and he jumps in after her.  They are both taken to the hospital and he continues his efforts to recruit her until he succeeds.  After all, what does she have to fear about someone throwing knives at her if she wants to die?

 

They are tremendously successful and the audiences are enthusiastically supportive.  Since Adele is so lucky now, Gabor has her go to the gambling casinos where they are performing and bet all their salary…and win!   We see great chemistry between the world-weary Gabor and the gamine Adele that is all the more apparent because they maintain a hands off relationship.   They are doing fabulously!  The two of them seem to have a telepathic communication that makes them a great success but luck has a way of changing.

 

Adele does what she has always done that led her to her suicide attempt, she falls for some guy she meets on the cruise ship where they are performing and she leaves the act.  Mind you, this guy has just gotten married and is on his honeymoon when she runs off with him.  This relationship is short lived and disastrous.  Gabor recruits the suicidal wife of the guy that Adele takes off with as his new partner and the knife hits her and she is taken off the cruise ship to the hospital and Gabor is stranded in Istanbul.  Soon his life goes from bad to worse and it is Gabor that is on the bridge about to jump off when Adele shows up to rescue him.  The film starts and ends on bridges.

 

Sooooo….what is the message of this film?

 

I see it as primarily about luck and skill.  Gabor is very skillful, but if luck is not also with him, he becomes dangerous.  Adele is constantly creating her bad luck until she meets up with Gabor and for once in her life she is lucky.  She fails to appreciate what she has finally obtained and throws it away.  Fortunately, she realizes her mistake at the end.    Point: luck wants to and will embrace you when you find just the right partner in life---so if that happens, be sure to nurture that relationship and not take it for granted.

 

(Note: Paradis, not long after this film, started a long term relationship with one of our finest actors, Johnny Depp.  They have two young children and live in Hollywood and France together spending about  half of the year in each area.)