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A Long Engagement

In: Film and Music

Submitted By tmumley
Words 368
Pages 2
The movie begins with Mathilde Donnay’s fiancé and four other soldiers being reported killed in action. After the war, Mathilde receives a letter suggesting that Manech, long presumed dead, may have survived after all. She takes this as confirmation of what she has believed all along: If he had died, she would have felt it. With this insight, Mathilde hires a lawyer and a private investigator and sets out on a quest to unravel the truth. Unfortunately Mathilde suffers from a condition known as poliomyelitis, which has paralyzed her legs making her unable to walk. However this does not stop her from finding her fiancé. Through interviews, letters, telegrams, and visits to important places Mathilde gathers information that leads her to discover the whereabouts of her lover, Manech. She begins to discover clues, each one leading to the next. First she finds a stamp spoken of in one of the letters she finds. If the stamp is real, then the letter must be too and her lover was alive on the supposed day he died. She then receives a letter from a woman who has had an affair with another soldier and one of the condemned men. The letter to Mathilde helps her discover the whereabouts of a pair of German boots that have been traded several times among the soldiers. These boots lead her to a man who assisted Manech in no-man’s-land, carrying him out on his back. Mathilde and this man manage to crack the code of a letter from one of the condemned men to his wife, and with it she is able to find the one person who carries all the secrets that lead to Manech. With all of these new people and discoveries, Mathilde finds out her fiance is alive, but he suffers from amnesia, not even being able to identify his adoptive mother. Seeing Mathilde, Manech seems to be oblivious of her. However, he still expresses concern for her when he notices her polio stricken legs, asking her "does it hurt when you walk ?" as he did when they first met. The movie concludes with Mathilde sitting on their chair silently watching Manech just happy to know he’s alive.

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