That’s not to take anything away from those who do leave the cinema feeling fulfilled and enlightened – pictures such as this one are open to interpretation and many will connect on an intellectual and emotional level in a way that many won’t – but the distinct – and certainly deliberate – lack of narrative structure will alienate many filmgoers. From what we can gather from this thin story, is that a man (Kamel Abdeli) meets a woman, (Héloise Godet) and they proceed to get a dog. That much we do know. What happens from thereon remains something of a mystery, as this esteemed director challenges cinema as an art-form, to entrance and baffle his audience in equal measure.
It’s rather difficult to question the motives of such a venerable, inspirational filmmaker, and somebody who played an integral part in the French new wave, bringing us features such as Breathless – but in this instance it’s perplexing to appreciate quite what the octogenarian is trying to achieve. Given his credentials you find yourself searching for a deeper, profound meaning and yet are left wanting.
When perceiving this title aesthetically, there’s more to be admired as Godard tries his hand at using 3D technology, while at times we have a different image in both eyes, which is certainly unique; even if it does feel like somebody is harassing your senses. 3D does work quite well in this instance as we’re so used to seeing it implemented in big blockbusters or animations, we forget how impactful it can be to a more intimate production, depicting real life, and placing us right at the heart of the scene. Though sometimes we’d rather not be – as there’s a few too many sequences featuring Abdeli completely naked, taking a dump – with quite unforgiving sound effects to boot.
At times Goodbye to Language can be oddly, ineffably mesmerising, though for those of us who appreciate the notion of storytelling will leave rather unfulfilled. It’s not Godard’s intention to be conventional in that regard, but hey; maybe that’s why I don’t like it. The only character even remotely relatable is the pet dog – who looks just about as confused as we feel.