|Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud)|
This is the third–second feature–film about the character of Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud). It takes place nine years after the events of The 400 Blows and six years after Antoine And Colette. Surprisingly we find Antoine in the military. Not surprisingly, he is in a cell from which he is promptly removed and discharged as temperamentally unfit for service. The rest of the film follows him as he goes from one job to another.
He gets a job as a concierge, a private detective, and finally a TV repairman.
He is having a lot of trouble finding his place in society. More important than finding a job that suits him is the need to find a woman. This need is what drove the second film–Antoine And Colette–and he is still using the same tactics by going for the goodies–like a passionate kiss–way too soon and in the process pushing women away who might otherwise be open to a relationship. He is kind of promised to this one girl who shows up periodically. Nevertheless, he goes through a couple of prostitutes and while undercover at a shoe store becomes infatuated with the bosses wife. His relations with women are immature and impulsive.
While Antoine is going through jobs and women there is also a lot of humor that reminds me of why I love Truffaut above all the other French New Wave directors. Despite being made during the tumultuous 1968 demonstrations over the firing of Henri Langolis, the film doesn’t feel political, bitter, or damaged in the slightest. You can see this one without the previous two films, but it helps to see them first. I highly recommend it.