As much as I love art house director, Claire Denis, her up close and personal bizarre vision is poignant beyond expression. My immediate thought after viewing TROUBLE EVERY DAY is this: pain of desire, often ends in fire. If you can handle RAW then you’ll be able to handle this decadent love bite of a film. I’m also noticing how some French female filmmakers like Breillat or Ducournau tackle great liberties with such brazen attitudes and fearlessness in their conviction to capture horror when it comes to the human body. Claire Denis does what she does best and terrifyingly so. In the beginning, the mood is inconspicuous initially, with two people in a long make out session in a car on a beautiful night in Paris. There's a lovely canal where the lights reflect on the water, jazz music plays and then bam we're on a road where a truck driver stops and is lured by the magnetism in a lone woman's enchanting eyes. What the what!? Cut to the same woman in a field all bloodied nearly with shame in her eyes. I think that's some kind of guilt.
TROUBLE EVERY DAY has that erotic appeal where the problem is not mentioned by name but lingers more so in an ambiguous realm. There’s an elusiveness that evokes the temptress within; the unwillingness to extract control when tangoing with desire. Such as the story goes, Coré played by the wonderful Béatrice Dalle from BETTY BLUE has a problem but her husband Leo (Alex Descas) being a neuroscientist is there to protect and take care of her. He just locks her up in a room when he goes to work. No big deal. Sam played by the devious Vincent Gallo and his newlywed, June (Tricia Vessey) are on their way to Paris for a romantic honeymoon. But being this is Vincent Gallo, he has an ulterior motive for going to Paris. He’s tracking down Coré. And here’s where the theme of desire comes into play full force. Cue in the scene where Sam is staring at this wife bathing in a bathtub with scary hunger in his eyes. Gallo's expressions nail the creepiness to the wall. It just works, terrifyingly so again.
So since Coré has severe brain problems, the only option to alleviate such pent-up aggression is to go out and initiate sex with men while violently killing them afterwards. She often escapes and does her thing anyway, untamed all while knowing she needs help. There’s certainly a vampire motif going on but without the silly mythology attached to it. Coré can’t contain her urge to viciously bite and make love to her victims all ending in bloodshed and there's SO MUCH BLOOD. What's a girl to do? It just becomes an insistent need all the while Sam seems to share the same obsession but somehow manages his urge or so it seems.
It’s tantalizing, and ambiguously charged with obsession not just from Coré’s perspective but also Sam how these two are juxtaposed together. But once Sam has found Coré, well all hell breaks lose as is expected. Here’s where I make a strange comparison. Imagine CASABLANCA, where Rick (Bogie) clearly still has some bitter love for Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) and lets her go in the end. Now switch that around. Sam is after Coré and flies to France to seek her out, not letting her go but instead indulges in.... well, I won’t give it away. It’s essentially the opposite of CASABLANCA or what I imagine what would happen if Rick made Ilsa not get on the plane in a morbid way. So, I guess that doesn’t work. But there’s a genuine attraction and connection that brings these two together because they both are suffering from the same brain problem. It’s romantic right? It’s bloody romantic, because these two are like magnets, except neither one seems to really grasp the value of intimacy. They just want to maul each other until one of them ends up dead, burns the house down, and buys a puppy. I’m not making that up.
One of the things I admire is how jazz music pairs so well with the horror genre and its utilized quite a bit here. There’s something compelling yet haunting about it, whether it’s a trumpet of saxophone. Also using blood and flesh becomes so ingrained with who we are as people and the true horror is when you overindulge in it, the character transforms into this animalistic entity. Its exhilarating but also, empathy, rationale, all go to the waste side and everything else becomes a way of survival. There’s so many great elements at play here, even if the true nature of why Coré and Sam are the way they are is never explained, its not enough to sway me from the erotic fantasy Denis explores visually.