Rules of the Game

Rules of the Game


The scenes of the hunt and the fights inside the chateau in 'Rules of The Game' make explicit the violence and adultery behind the polished surface of the world of the aristocrat's and their servants. The sound, cinematography, and mise-en-scene display this violence—through such features as discordant music, the deep focus shot and moving frame, and a mise-en-scene that takes on in the film almost the role of commentary.

The title brings attention to one of the underlying themes of the film, that of game and role-playing in a world ordered by ideas of appropriate and inappropriate behavior. The irony is that the film demonstrates that no one ever obeys the rules, and that as soon as one begins to organize people into social categories or psychological types, they act in unexpected ways which redefine our ideas of who they are.

One of the main scenes of the film is an extensive hunting scene in which the servants drive the rabbits, pheasants, and quail through the woods to the ladies and gentleman waiting with shotguns and rifles behind blinds. Another important scene begins with some amateur entertainment provided by some of the principals that later leads to a masquerade ball. Adulterous meetings are undertaken in every corner, although all of it is limited to smooching and petting. Robert, Genevieve, Lisette, and Marceau play by the rules of the game – casually pursuing whatever opportunities come along without taking any of it too seriously. When Robert, for example, catches one of the guests kissing Christine, a few fisticuffs are more than enough to satisfy his sense of justice.
Christine, Andre, and Schumacher, on the other hand, haven't got the rules down. Christine, all innocence and naivety, is actually trying to follow her heart, though without a lot of success, and hopes to discover who it is that she truly loves. The heroic Andre believes himself in love with Christine and...

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