This Eiffel Tower biopic doesn’t merge with the fictional romance the way it should.
The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France has been a celebrated worldwide structure, designed and nicknamed after the engineer Gustave Eiffel. I’d love to visit the country and see this glorious structure one day, but this very moment, I can only see it on the internet or in the movies. Even a film critic like myself thinks that’s not enough. Until I can travel there one day, I’m stuck seeing it through entertainment.
The new French film “Eiffel” is both fiction and non-fiction, as it tells the true story about the construction of the tower, as well as a fake romance starring Romain Duris as Gustave Eiffel and Emma Mackay as his lover Adrienne Bourgès. It intends to be both a serious biopic on one of the world’s most extraordinary monuments, and an old fashioned romance, but somehow, I never really saw the balance of both genres. It feels all tipsy as it transcends from one side to the other.
Duris is excellent as Gustave when he deals with the challenges of erecting the monument. He has to make sure it stays in tact, regardless of storms or aging, and he assembles the right team to make sure of that. But he also has to deal with the public criticizing him for endangering the people of Paris, especially the workers who demand raises. He also looks dashing with the beard and costumes.
Both he and it wouldn’t be the first genius or masterpiece to be judged as “ahead of their times.” Thomas Edison was one of the geniuses behind the lightbulb, and Vincent Van Gogh had his own, unique ways of painting. And yet, somehow, they were ridiculed. People just didn’t know what good things they have coming. I don’t know the true story behind the Eiffel Tower, so I can’t say definably, but this is what the film displays.
Mackay is radiant and charming as the girl, who is referred to as “charming” by her lover. She has a sense of spirit and tone that makes us admire her personality and beauty, inside and out (and her costumes look dazzling, as well), but her story goes all over the place. It deals with her in another marriage, the social world she comes from, and how time progresses the elements. expected more out of that love story, instead of turning it into made-for-TV material.
The sets and visual effects for the building process looks great. We’re able to stay at the edge of our seats when we see the workers hanging at the edge in order to put in the bolts. And we’re marveled at how it looks like it’s made from metal, especially when the sun sets on it.
“Eiffel” has the potential to be entertaining, because of the fascinating elements I’ve mentioned, but it has to be handled in a mediocre and meandering sense. I’m not saying it has to have a happy ending. After all all four versions of “A Star is Born” couldn’t have the two celebrities living happily ever after, and two of them were masterpieces. I’m saying it should have pushed itself further.
In regards to the fiction inside the true story, it doesn’t have to be just a truthful film; it can be whatever it wants to be. But it has to draw us in, and provide us with a nostalgic feel to the classics. It looks and feels great, but it has to show its inner beauty. I can’t praise it on the outside.