Interesting exploration of relationships

Issue 

Interesting exploration of relationships

Traps
Directed by Pauline Chan
Starring Saskia Reeves and Robert Reynolds
Ronin Films
Reviewed by Karl Miller

Traps is an interesting exploration of the dynamics of a relationship between two European journalists on assignment to in 1950s Vietnam under French occupation.

Louise, somewhat naively, wants to explore the reality of occupation. She befriends one of the workers on the plantation the journos are covering and accidentally discovers they are Vietminh, shortly before a (somewhat contrived) communist raid.

Michael prefers to ignore the reality and follow his career. This puts further stress on an already troubled relationship. But there is more than that going on in the film. The plantation manager's teenage daughter, Viola, is also (mostly) on the side of the Vietnamese workers. And the manager, Daniel, while keeping the workers productive and Michael's article on track, is lusting after both Louise and Michael.

Of the actors, Jacqueline McKenzie does the most with the character of Viola. The background singing was great — I don't know who it was.

The ending has both journos on the side of the French — Louise more from fear of the communists than from political choice. But I suppose there are limited choices for a liberal European trapped on the wrong side of an anti-colonial struggle.

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