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  • Strictly Films

Both Sides of the Blade; Grade: B

Both Sides of the Blade tells a story about a couple named Sara (Juliette Binoche) and Jean (Vincent Lindon), as they just got back from a lovely day being in the water together. Jean just got a rare job opportunity with his ole friend Francois (Gregoire Colin), who also used to be Sara’s past lover. Jean at first feels uncomfortable with the idea of working with Francois due to Sara and Francois history, but Sara clarifies that he no longer is into Francois as she’s only into Jean now. Tensions will continue to rise forward, as the image of Francois just can’t seem to leave Sara’s mind.

Both Sides of the Blade feels like a slow moving drama based story, heavily involved with relationships and just discover the human nature within several different relationships. Jean’s relationship with Sara is heavily bound with love, however considering he’s going to be involved with Francois in business matters knowing Sara has had history with him… At first he was hesitant to go forward, as there’s lacking of trust. But because of Sara’s unconditional love towards Jean, especially all he’s been through, he decides to let go of doubt and trust Sara will be faithful. Like in all relationships, if a significant other used to have romance in the past, one must let envy, intimidation, and mostly certainly doubts that they’ll be betrayed to be let go entirely and allow full trust that their partner will continue to be faithful to them. I mean if one fears the worst is going to be done to them in a relationship, why even be in that relationship to begin with?!

When it comes to Sara relationship with Jean, it feels like a bond that can’t be broken as they’re 100% affectionate towards each other. However the moment Sara saw Francois randomly on a motorcycle heading to work… If feels as if Sara still is not over Francois, despite she’s got a great thing going with Jean especially considering what they’ve been through. When it comes to uncertainty in terms of staying committing to someone in which we wish we were with someone, we often put a great deal of denial in our minds and be overly repetitive to let the significant other know there’s no need to be alarmed.

Like when Sara repeatedly tells Jean over and over again that he loves him constantly and putting attention on Francois by speaking out on his name… You clearly tell Sara continues to do this trying to not only feed Jean’s mind, but also feed her mind that she’s not going to betray him, as she’s feeling immensely guilty of caving into temptation to be with Francois.

There’s also another relationship involved including Jean and his son Marcus (Issa Perica), involving a father/son relationship that has been unfortunately tarnished due to the fact Jean had to spend time in prison, so Jean’s mother had to do most of hardship of raising a child. Because of the lack of a father figure in the home: Marcus is heavily troubled, undisciplined, and missing out on school leaving his future in jeopardy. The whole relationship feels like it can’t be fixed, even with Jean making an effort to going out of his way to visit him and spend time with him, you can clearly see Marcus feels detached by his father completely. It’s important when one becomes a parent, that they should do all it takes to be there for the child, or else suffer the consequences of not only missing out on a healthy relationship but especially the child’s well being as well.

I think my only complaint in terms of all these relationships being told in one cohesive story, is I wish more development was made on Jean and Marcus’, but other than that I felt the development and meaning behind of each relationship being told was nicely done. You could also say the best scene, is between an exchange between Jean and Marcus, as Jean is trying to get Marcus’ life together. Within this sequence Jean pretty much explains that the way the world looks at you in terms of skin color or what class you reside in, does not determine who you can be in this world. That you shouldn’t let “Well I’m this, therefore” be an excuse why you haven’t made something of yourself, that you are in the drivers seat of your life and that you can determine what kind of life you want to have. It was an extremely powerful moving moment, as that’s exactly what Marcus needed to hear and was longing to hear in which he lacked of a strong father figure for quite some time.

It’s a very slow paced story, however I felt everything coming together it felt like a meaningful watch of exploring these relationships and all. Though the ending abruptly ends out of nowhere: I felt how it all wrapped up was very clever and left on a nice note.

Overall, Both Sides of the Blade was a solid film. I recommend checking this one out. -Mitch Smietana

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