Les Quatre Cents Coups (The 400 Blows) is a genuine storyteller. An apology never heard never accepted. A dark sickening life insisting to walk away from everything.
A young lad Antoine Doinel is a confused puppet in Paris of the 1950s. His parents argue and fight, his teacher punishes and complains. He studies but he cannot make his mind. One day he is so disturbed that he quit home and school, and begins stealing.
This 1959 French film is directed by François Truffaut. The best aspect of the film is the tendency, the aptness, the realism of human behavior. The portrayal of characters and their character descriptions are extremely rich and marvelous (especially Antoine’s parents).
This easily is one of the best writings in European cinema due to the fact that ‘The 400 Blows’ was one of the earliest films of the French New Wave uprising. Legendary filmmakers like Akira Kurosawa and Satyajit Ray have considered the film as one of their favorites.
Another legacy is that Truffaut took the character Antoine Daniel with the same boy (Jean-Pierre Léaud) and made four more films on the character’s first love affair (Antoine et Colette in 1962), then another love affair (Baisers volés in 1968), then marriage (Domicile conjugal in 1970), and then separation (L’amour en fuite in 1979).
Highly recommended to all film critics and sensible filmgoers.