It is hard to imagine Paris without its main symbol – the 300-meter Eiffel Tower. It is even more difficult to imagine that they did not want to build it.
Nobody believed in Eiffel’s daring idea to build a huge metal tower so that it could be seen from different parts of the city. “The idea is bigger than himself,” the skeptics assured, while the tower was still in the engineer’s blueprint. Disgruntled voices were heard from different directions: “300-meter guillotine”, “such a mastodon will scare away tourists”, “it may fall.” But even after the Eiffel Tower was erected in a record two years at that time, it continued to excite the minds of the concerned public. It has long been known either the bike, or the truth, which is included in all guidebooks to Paris: Guy de Maupassant constantly dined in a restaurant on the first level of the tower. This is despite the fact that he often called it a “giant chimney”, then a “blot of ink.” When they asked him why you dine here, you hate Eiffel’s brainchild, the writer replied that this is the only place in Paris where you can’t see her.
More than 130 years after the landmark construction, a film about the Eiffel and his creation was released. The film with the laconic title “Eiffel” was shot by Martin Bourboulon – a little-known French director who shot a couple of short films and the comedy “Love Trashed”.
Recently, the world cinema has had a lot of bad luck with biopics. They do not reach the scale of the personality to whom they are dedicated. The creators of the new picture insisted on a different genre – melodrama – and told how Eiffel immortalized the memory of his youthful love in metal. In the credits, the creators of the tape deliberately warn that the plot is partially based on real events, so it may or may not coincide with reality. Like, do not judge strictly.
Martin Bourboulon introduces us to the frantic Eiffel, ready to go against nature, soil, climate and wind. Eiffel was like that in life. And he was also a truly talented engineer with the soul of an artist: everything that was drawn on paper in his bureau did not require adjustments and new calculations at the construction site. But the leading actor Romain Duris, alas, could not get close to the real Eiffel. And it doesn’t even matter that he is ten years younger than the real Eiffel was at the time of construction. With the meticulous dotted line of Wikipedia, the viewer is only sketched out an image: here is Gustave Eiffel – a young ambitious engineer who builds bridges in the most difficult soils. Here he falls in love with the beautiful Adrienne (played by Emma McKay). Youthful love is not equal to fleeting passion. He meets her again after twenty years, the feeling flares up so strongly that Eiffel devotes a new idea to her. According to some biographers, a girl with a name starting with the letter A could have inspired the thinker to create such an unusual tower shape. Alas, the authors of Eiffel’s biographies focused more on his creations than on his personal life. However, the Adrienne-Eiffel line in the film should convince us that it was all about love.
Here he is – a widower with five children, and the eldest daughter is asking her father’s permission to marry.
Eiffel came up with a frame for the Statue of Liberty in New York and, inspired by his construction, wants to build something no less epochal in Paris. And even more technically challenging is the metro. But the World Industrial Exhibition of 1889 is coming, at which France should surprise. It was then that the idea of the tower appeared … So he, together with the builders, climbs onto the tower to check how reliably the second floor is connected to the first, and gives instructions so that no one perishes at the epoch-making construction site.
It is undoubtedly pleasant to look at the tower and Paris of the end of the last century in the film. Computer graphics take the viewer to a time when the tower was not yet fully completed. An amazing shot, which, by the way, adorned the poster of the painting: instead of the usual symbol – a disassembled tower – there is only one first floor, by which one can easily judge that something grandiose, but at the same time elegant, is being built. And not all of Paris was filmed in the pavilion: the operators found several views of the modern city, from where the Eiffel Beauty is not visible, which were successfully integrated into the computer graphics. No wonder the special effects in the film were directed by Olivier Gauvet, who worked on the set of Blade Runner 2049.
Another undoubted success of the film is the soundtrack of the Oscar winner Alexander Desplat. The famous composer created music for many Hollywood films, and he received two cherished statuettes for the soundtrack to the tapes “The Shape of Water” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” an engineer whose seemingly boyish impulses to create epochal structures have always been embodied.