Revisiting the Movie ‘The Girl on a Motorcycle"


1968 was the year this movie ‘The Girl on a Motor Cycle’ was released. This Jack Cardiff movie starring Alan Delon and Marianne Faithfull has survived the ravages of time as a cult movie that can still not fail to excite a movie buff.

The Movie based on the novel by Andre Pieyre de Mandiargues is a faithful adaptation of the book. It relates a story of a young woman who just into two months into her marriage rides a motorcycle from France to Germany, to have a rendezvous with her lover. The story is simple but the presentation and its adaptation from the book brings out the forte of the director. He recreates a vivid picture of Europe at that time as well as the psyche of a young woman who is enamored of motorbikes.

The Bike is the central piece to the film and the story revolves around it and the thrill it gives akin to mating with a lover. The motorbike riding scenes through the hills and dales as well as the European highways of those days are excellently shot. Marianne portrays the motorcyclist with gay abandon. She literally breathes life into the role. Wearing her motorcycle gear replete with gloves, riding suit and boots she creates an alluring and enticing picture.

Among the other stars the French actor Alan Delon lends his suave presence to the role, though he for once is overshadowed by Marianne. But within the limitations of the role he turns in a creditable performance.

The significance of the movie lies in the fact that life itself is like a motorcycle that speeds along the highway. The movie razes pertinent questions of free love and fidelity in marriage. But over all the impact of the movie is also on the mind.

The visuals of Europe are exciting and the scenic beauty is captured by the camera in a telling manner. But the motorcycle a monster with a self start holds its own. Marianne of course turns in one of her best performances ever. The movie does have some nudity, but it is carefully integrated into the movie and again Marianne scores in these scenes.

Though over 40 years have passed the movie is still relevant today and certainly one cannot be the loser by watching it.

Source by Madan G Singh

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