The Wild Child | 1970

Genre: Drama

Author : Srivathsa

The following review was featured in "The Hindu" - Here

Synopsis: Master of freedom

“The Wild Child (L'enfant sauvage) (1970)” opens in a forest with a middle aged lady picking up fruits, when she notices an undressed boy niggling around with a wild animal-like conduct. This striking and philosophically intimidating opening of the movie, directed by the French auteur, Francois Truffaut, is so profound that it very well scripts the launch of a refined, superlative new wave movie. This French movie is another feather in the genius’s hat.

A young boy (played by Jean-Pierre Cargol) , found near the forest of Aveyron, gets discovered after living in the wild for the first few years of his life. Dr. Jean Itard (Francois Truffaut himself) places the boy under his own supervision, names him and observes him. But, what starts begins as a study of the boy’s behaviour, eventually changes into an insight of human character and the slender line between the bumpy Parisian life and the vicious virtues of nature.

Truffaut’s astounding, sharp and poignant direction senses the sanity of freedom in each frame. Alongside glittering performances by Cargol and Truffaut, the lush and thriving black and white cinematography rains in with a justly naturalistic way of peeping into cinema. Although the movie is bizarrely sovereign with cherished moments, there are a few of them that blow the audience away. One such scene is the heart rending shot of the young boy, enjoying the moon light and the rain and the deep bliss, he enjoys doing it. Truffaut unleashed!

The movie is based on a true story, but even if it had not been the case, the movie would have had the same provocative melancholy that sinks the audience in. It fascinates us even forty years later that a story of a discarded child, is made with so much warmth and paternal affection for New wave cinema. Deeply moving, “The Wild Child” seeks for a purpose and ultimately delivers with Truffaut’s controlled liberty over his art.


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