The Passengers

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  • 1977
  • 1 hr 36 min
  • 6.3  (178)

The Passengers, a 1977 French film directed by Serge Leroy, tells the story of a group of passengers aboard a night train traveling from Marseille to Paris. The film follows a series of interwoven narratives that reveal the backstories of the passengers, exploring their personal struggles and inner demons. Jean-Louis Trintignant stars as Mathias, a cold and distant businessman who is traveling with his young mistress, Claire (played by Valérie Lagrange). Throughout the film, Mathias grapples with the guilt of his infidelity and reflects on the course of his life. Meanwhile, Mireille Darc portrays Alice, a lonely divorcée who sees the train ride as an opportunity to escape her problems and start anew. Alice strikes up a friendship with François (Bernard Fresson), a writer who is also on the train.

The other passengers include a working-class couple (played by Jean-Claude Brialy and Nicoletta Machiavelli) who are traveling to Paris in search of work, and an elderly woman (played by Danielle Darrieux) who is returning home after a long absence. Each of these characters is struggling with their own problems, and the train ride forces them to confront their past mistakes and face the uncertain future.

As the train hurtles through the night, the tension and anxiety among the passengers begin to rise. The train conductor (played by Michel Bouquet) exudes a sense of ominousness and seems to embody the unfeeling, mechanical power of the train itself. As the various storylines converge, the film builds to a dramatic and suspenseful climax.

The Passengers is a haunting and mesmerizing film that explores themes of regret, isolation, and mortality. It is a character study that reveals the inner lives of its subjects with a sense of intimacy and compassion. The film is shot in a muted color palette, adding to the sense of melancholy and introspection that permeates the narrative.

Jean-Louis Trintignant delivers a nuanced performance as Mathias, conveying a sense of deep-rooted sadness and guilt with just a few subtle gestures and expressions. Mireille Darc brings a sense of wistful longing to her portrayal of Alice, and Bernard Fresson imbues François with a sense of sensitivity and vulnerability.

The Passengers is a film that rewards attention and patience. It reveals its secrets gradually, building to a powerful and cathartic conclusion. It is a film that captures the essence of the human experience, reminding us of the fleeting nature of life and the importance of cherishing the moments we have.

The Passengers
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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 36 min
  • IMDB Rating
    6.3  (178)