Plot Details: Elena is 15, beautiful and flirtatious. Her less confident sister, Anais, is 12, and constantly eats. On holiday, Elena meets a young Italian student who is determined to seduce her. Anais is forced to watch in silence, conspiring with the lovers, but harbouring jealousy and similar desires. Their actions, however, have unforeseen tragic consequences for the whole family
Fat Girl is the type of film that will just knock you dead, leave you shocked long after the movie is over, and keep you in a stunned, depressing trance that seems to last forever. It is one of the least pleasant movies I have ever seen, but it is without a doubt one of the best, albeit dark, experiences I’ve had seeing a movie.
The film stars Anaïs Reboux as Anaïs Pingot, the younger sibling of Elena Pingot, who’s played by Roxane Mesquida. Elena is clearly the favorite of her mother and father, as Anais is constantly looked on as the “other child”, or the black sheep if you will. Anais is constantly being berated by her sister for being overweight and for trying to be like her, because she hasn’t yet found who she really wants to be yet. Reboux gives an incredibly natural performance, one of the finest of the last decade in my opinion, as heartbreaking as it was. She was the true star of this film, even though she had never acted before. Which makes her already incredible performance even more brilliant. Fine performances are also given by Mesquida, and Romain Goupil and Arsinée Khanjian, who play Anais and Elena’s parents.
The film was written and directed by Catherine Breillat, of whom I have heard great things about but have never really watched a film by – except for this film. The screenplay was daringly original, provocative, and shocking to say the least – not only that but it is quite depressing. Fat Girl is easily one of the most depressing movies I have ever seen, the tones, the moods of Anais’s character, and the looming cinematography all add to the sorrowful and depressing feeling of the movie. The film explores the topics of sibling rivalry, relationships, sex, and coming of age with a harsh reality that doesn’t hold back from expressing feelings that are true-to-life, but it does it in an artistic and brilliant way. I’d advise anyone who would be upset with it’s portrayal of violence and graphic sex, because it does linger on explicit sex and violence in some scenes, to steer clear of this film – but Breillat keeps everything as tasteful as she possibly can given the many depressing and shocking scenes that will hit you like a bolt of lightening.
In conclusion, Catherine Breillat’s “Fat Girl” is a brilliantly original, but shocking and depressing film that paints a portrait of sibling rivalry and family drama in a realistic light. While my rating of the movie may seem a little low considering how much I praised it, it is nevertheless one of the movies that must be experienced. But be forewarned, it is a very unpleasant, and depressing experience.
My Rating: 8.5/10
Thanks for Reading!