Eiffel | Movie review
8 August 2022
Gustave Eiffel, who gave France its famous tower, has often been portrayed as a practical man, a brilliant engineer, and the architect of iron. Eiffel, directed by Martin Bourboulon, paints a rather different and softer picture of Eiffel as a hopeless romantic whose monument was as much a celebration of love as it was an engineering masterpiece. This period drama suggests that the tower’s A-shape was a tribute to Eiffel’s great love, Adrienne Bourges, ably played by Emma Mackey (Maeve in the Netflix series Sex education).
Played by Romain Duris, Gustave struggles with striking workers and financial setbacks as he organizes the construction of the Eiffel Tower. Bourboulon intermittently shows us the construction site, where Eiffel’s men are hard at work and the tower grows ever larger. However, the main intrigue revolves around Gustave’s romance with Adrienne, a married woman with whom he had a relationship. Flashbacks from Gustave and Adrienne’s perspectives show the lovers 20 years in the past, kissing against the backdrop of the fireplace and Parisian sunsets before Adrienne’s disapproving parents intervene. His unexpected return as Gustave faces various obstacles to complete the tower fuels his creativity and commitment.
Duris looks tempting in period garb, as does Mackey, who never disappoints and is both compelling and fun to watch as a seemingly spoiled young woman who turns out to have a deeper personality than appearances suggest. The troubled love story is portrayed with passion and warmth, making it impossible not to get a little involved. Unfortunately, that is not enough. Several scenes in the movie, especially the ones that take place on the construction site, end up being boring and repetitive.
The film claims to be “loosely inspired” by historical events and accurately shows how Eiffel was an unpopular figure in the late 19th century.the-century Paris. However, film critics have complained about the inaccuracy of many historical details.
Issues of class, wealth and power are also present, but this is a bittersweet love story at heart, an undemanding and not very successful melodrama.
Eiffel opens in select theaters on the 12the August 2022.
Watch the trailer for Eiffel here: