2 Ou 3 Choses Que Je Sais D’elle
(Two or Three Things I Know About Her )
What Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (1972) is to Fassbinder, 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her is to Godard – minimal, meticulously controlled, thematically central and hard to watch. Harder than that is to follow everything that Godard throws at us, especially when he does it in his characteristically indulgent way. He proves, as he does regularly, that the language of cinema is left largely unexplored and it is, or rather can be made free of the subjectivity and pseudo-objectivity that plagues the oral languages and limits the world one gets and gives access to.
Another multi-layered approach by Godard compares the central character with the actress who plays her and the city of Paris herself. It looks as if Godard is bemoaning the changes that are taking place in the society as it assumes a monstrous attitude through incessant consumption and the rat race it nurtures. Scenes of massive reconstruction that dominate the big picture are interspersed with the quotidian struggles that delineate the microcosm as the protagonist takes up casual prostitution to supplement the meager income of the household. Again Godard hints at the prostitution of the city’s ideologies with effective use of red and blue colours, as with the other films of the trilogy.
If I have to sum up the film in a single word it would definitely be “uncompromising” and so will be the word that I would use to describe Godard himself. Till 2 Or Three Things… Godard used a simple story line as a platform on which he would knit his ideas. But here, he sheds even that simple requirement and goes beyond his working limits, which is phenomenally radical by itself. Because of this, the audience is completely left helpless as the characters directly address them and force them to think. This way, Godard stretches the Brechtian theory and makes it the prime mover for the film instead of using it as a tool like he did so far. This is implied in the very title of the film as Godard warns us of the fragmented nature of the film and prepares us to fill in the rest by ourselves.