Jules and Jim is a contemporary love story centering on two men and their devotion to one girl who gives her heart freely. Jules and Jim begin the tale as young friends on the cusp of adulthood. They joyfully engage in similar activities associated with youth like living an active lifestyle in the gym and passing romances. The only great love in their life is finding new experiences that make them seem whole and both see this instantly upon the introduction of a woman named Catherine. She’s a wild spirit who seeks pleasure from everything in life and every man who comes her way. Jules and her begin a relationship, so Jim watches observantly from the sidelines. Soon both the men are dragged into World War I. They are on different sides of the battle until it’s over. It’s then that they are reunited and Jim is able to see the dissolving marriage of Jules and Catherine. The only connection the couple has left is their young daughter, so Catherine eagerly seeks out the pleasure of other men. Jules is left disheartened but accepting of the fact that he still has her free spirit around him. Jim and Catherine spark a fast love when it’s clear that they’re free to be together. After an entanglement of emotions that grow from their trepidatious union, Catherine falls into disheartenment at the romance that never can come to fruition. She takes Jim with her into a fall out of this disappointing life and leaves Jules sad but relieved to be out of her grasp she had over his heart.
The French film is almost always associated with romance and living out life to the fullest extent it can bring you. This film establishes these motifs from the beginning and never leaves us wanting to experience a deeper set of values associated with these flighty characters. It’s clever to see the interplay of these young bohemians as they accept each passing fancy that comes to them as an inevitable cause of their existence. Be it war, love or death, life is worth living through its varied experiences. The fast cutting and language keep us in constant awareness of the story as it develops quickly between the lovers. Although their polygamist views are a little outrageous, it’s acceptable that there are people out their willing to gain a new perspective on each other from more than a glancing eye. The three main performances are breezy and effervescent and each brings a new life into the character they represent. When all is said in done, it’s a film that gives you a new way of looking at things if only for a little while. After closer inspection, it is a tragic love story that sinks out back into reality slowly with an appreciation for the establish life we have that doesn’t include the trouble of constantly probing new emotions. This film is able to show us that love is as much apart of life as the air we breathe and without both we cease to be.