The French master of cinema François Ozon for the script of the film Double Lover (2017) took the general motif of the novel “The Life of Twins” by Joyce Carol Oate. Viewers who want to understand the plot twists of a psychoerotic thriller should not turn to the literary source. The adaptation is as free as the researcher of human sexuality, the connoisseur of women’s bodies and souls, the famous mystifier Francois Ozon, can afford.
The main character of the film – a young Parisian Chloe – goes on about her physiological sensations and is a prisoner of her illusions. What a neurasthenic anorexic does not fantasize about while spending lonely evenings with a cat: an inexplicable disease, an ideal lover.
What is the meaning of the French film Double Lover?
Chloe sees a psychoanalyst for depression and phantom stomach pains. The doctor, a courteous and attractive blond, after a couple of sessions refuses to continue treatment and admits that he has fallen in love. The patient responds to Paul’s feelings and they plunge into a romantic and erotic l’amour.
One day, from the window of the bus, Chloe sees her lover with another. The jealous Mademoiselle follows them and sees that this is a man who, like two drops of water, looks like Paul. Louis – his twin brother and also a practicing psychologist – arouses genuine interest in Chloe. The girl makes an appointment with the doctor, and from there she goes straight to his bed. Louis is the absolute opposite of the restrained and gallant brother – seductively brutal, over the top sexy.
Chloe can not decide which of the lovers is more attractive. A “split” begins: when she sleeps with one, she thinks about the other. Soon, stripes on the test indicate a possible pregnancy. Chloe doesn’t know which partner to start a paternity conversation with. The situation is complicated by the fact that Paul categorically denies the fact that he has a twin brother.
As Chloe continues to delve into the private life of her cheating lover numéro un, Chloe learns that Paul’s ex-girlfriend became disabled after a suicide attempt. Sandra was pregnant, but not by him, but by Louis. The arrogant under the guise of a brother had closeness with her – he got her drunk and raped her. When the truth was revealed to the girl, she did not want to stay with it. After the tragedy, Paul cut Louis out of his life. Chloe was told about this by Sandra’s mother.
Chloe decides to break up immediately with her villainous lover numéro deux. But he persistently pursues, threatens. The conflict is resolved when she shoots Louie with a revolver. Chloe, who lost consciousness at that moment, is taken to the hospital. When she wakes up after the operation, the doctor says that there was no pregnancy, she had a cyst removed, because of which she felt unwell.
Paul and Chloe’s mother arrive at the hospital. Despite a long-standing dislike for her daughter, the woman wants to support her in a difficult situation. And then the viewer sees that Chloe’s mother is Madame, who told her the story of Paul’s ex-girlfriend, that is, Sandra’s mother. It turns out that the girls are twin sisters? This is already too much, a sophisticated lover of psychological drama tricks may think, and it will turn out to be right.
In fact, Paul and Chloe do not have second mirror halves. Louis and Sandra are the product of the girl’s imagination and unhealthy fantasies. And given that one of the reasons for Chloe’s visit to a psychoanalyst was her mother’s reproachful gaze pursuing her, this woman becomes the key figure in the plot denouement in the film. It turns out that 25 years ago she gave birth to acardius (parasitic twins), and Chloe is the result of this rare biological phenomenon. She was the body-donor in relation to the non-developing twin absorbed by her in the womb. Hence the pains that disturb her, and the imaginary unborn sister in the form of Sandra, and fantasies with her lover, Paul’s brother.
Now everything is behind us: the operation was successful, you can forget about health problems and doctors. She reconciles with her mother and returns home from the hospital to her lover. The final shots show an atmospheric sex scene featuring Chloe and Paul. But they are not alone in the house. Watching what is happening from behind the window, Sandra breaks the glass and finds herself in the room. As the French say, la commedie est terminé.
The entire duration of the film Double Lover follows a thin line between drama and thriller, periodically plunging into erotica and psychological horror. The solo thought that the author conveys through the delicate topic of psychological disorder is the transfer of personal problems to the external environment. The girl is confused in herself and does not understand at all why she is unhappy and constantly cries for no reason. Unbeknownst to herself, she plays out her origin story with Paul and Louis. On this imaginary stage, both real events and Chloe’s fantasies unfold.
The duet of consciousness and subconsciousness is the main one in a person’s life. Whether there is a reasonable compromise between them depends on how happy a person is. You can’t refuse one or the other. Otherwise, we will become either mentally handicapped or frustrated individuals. This is how it is considered. About this and the film by Francois Ozon.