The placid surface of Les Biches should blind no one to the spirit that moves within—slightly unbalanced, corrosive, morally alert—unless we are to be as deceived by appearances as one of Chabrol's characters. (p. 17)
Chabrol successfully evokes the stifling quality of daily life during the winter season in St. Tropez, with its outdoor games and flower markets which only add to the boredom and suffocation. The film becomes increasingly more claustrophobic as the characters cut themselves off from reality to inhabit a dream world. The growing sense of social disorientation from the second episode, "Frederique," to the third, "Why," reflects the ascent to power of the film's most deranged...
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