Watch Abuse of Weakness
- 1 hr 45 min
Abuse of Weakness, a 2013 French film directed by Catherine Breillat, tells the story of a successful filmmaker, Maud Schoenberg, played by Isabelle Huppert, who suffers a stroke and is left partially paralyzed. As she struggles to recover, Maud becomes obsessed with a career criminal named Vilko Piran, played by rapper Kool Shen, who she met while casting for her film.
Despite being warned by her friends and colleagues about Vilko's reputation, Maud persists in pursuing a relationship with him, eventually even lending him a large sum of money. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that Vilko is not the person he claims to be, and that Maud's vulnerability is being exploited for financial gain.
Throughout the movie, the audience is asked to question the nature of power dynamics in relationships, particularly those between men and women. Maud's status as a wealthy, successful woman makes her a target for Vilko's manipulation, and the film explores the emotional and psychological toll of her decision to allow herself to be taken advantage of.
Much of the film's power comes from Huppert's performance as Maud, which is understated and nuanced, allowing viewers to see both her strength and her vulnerability. Shen is equally compelling as Vilko, playing him as a charming and enigmatic figure whose motivations remain unclear until the final act.
The film's pacing is deliberate, with long stretches of dialogue-free scenes that allow the audience to contemplate the complex emotions and power dynamics at play. This approach may not appeal to all viewers, but it rewards those who are willing to engage with the film on its own terms.
One of the most striking elements of Abuse of Weakness is its depiction of disability. Maud's stroke leaves her partially paralyzed, and the film does not shy away from showing the physical and emotional toll this takes on her. At the same time, the film avoids sentimentality, portraying Maud as a fully realized character whose disability is one aspect of her identity, rather than defining her entirely.
Overall, Abuse of Weakness is a challenging but ultimately rewarding film that explores complex themes in a thoughtful and nuanced way. Its portrayal of power dynamics in relationships is particularly timely and thought-provoking, and its strong performances make it well worth watching.
Abuse of Weakness is a 2014 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 45 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.9 and a MetaScore of 77.