Five characters: a middle-aged couple living with an adult son and a sister-in-law, and one girl who is in love with this young man, are interwoven within unhealthy family relationships filled with various kinds of (non) love - there is a pathological love of a mother to her son, unrealized love of sister-in-law towards her sister’s husband, love of a middle-aged man towards a young girl, and in the end, the love of two young people, all within a single and "strange" family unburdened by existential problems.
Ah, these exaggerations
“If we presented this in stupidest Boulevard vaudeville, we would be criticized because of exaggeration", says father Georges at a certain point while his sister-in-lawLéonie little bit later cynically replies:" I do not know whether this is a drama orvaudeville, but in any case it is a masterpiece". Playing with theatrical conventions and the spectator’s notions of comedy, melodrama, drama and motifs of Greek tragedy, subversive Mr. Cocteau does not give us the key to navigate in a maze of complicated relations within one incredible (incroyable!) family. This conjurer of words ("...the French vocabulary is a veritable pharmacopoeia - poison on one side, antidote on the other...- R. Barthes: A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments), conjurer of images and psyche leads us seductively through ways and byways of our souls in order to shake up all the archetypical in us, but at the same time to entertain us.