English Title: Donkey Skin
Original Title: Peau d’ane
Genre: Fantasy, Musical
Director/Writer: Jacques Demy
based on the fairy-tale by Charles Perrault
Music: Michel Legrand
Cinematography: Ghislain Cloquet
I didn’t conceive a high expectation towards this film, however it turned out to be really bad, maybe it a hint for me to eschew French films for a while?
The fairy-tale of princess Donkey Skin, which I vaguely remember hearing before (of course during my childhood), but in the film, it boldly appropriated an incestuous background to back up the preposition of the flee of the princess under the disguise of the donkey skin, which one could only imagine French people was able to accomplish it. I don’t mind the adaptation, but it failed to provide any potent vigor to the film, which is a major blunder.
The latter part of the film is a well-worn Cinderella story while shoes are substituted by a more convenient item, a ring, and the process of all the maidens’ trial of the ring is rather long and cumbrous, luckily the film only lasts 90 minutes, otherwise, I might not have the patience to finish it. (Nevertheless, the sudden landing of the helicopter in the end of the film is a definite an eye-opener, one could never underestimate the absurd imagination from French.)
Let me think harder, at least the costumes and settings of the film are novel at that time, which sadly cannot save the film from a childish and reckless potboiler. My only consolation is that I could watch the marquee Catherine Deneuve in her most splendid time.
Finally I have to mention its theme song (trust me, it’s a musical film indeed), under an influence after whose multiple and redundant appearances, it has been ironed inside my brain deeply (l’amour, l’amour …); by comparison, I prefer the song by Delphine Seyrig (the fairy-godmother) in the film, who at least gave a more non-wooden and slightly comic performance.