|Fig 1 - The 400 Blows Poster|
One scene early-on in which Antoine is riding a zoetrope feels particularly indicative of his mental state during the film, being as he is a very distant young man. The scene tracks Antoine being pushed against the whirling ride to the extent that he is able to freely defy gravity and turn himself almost upside-down, cut together with perspective shots of the onlooking crowd. In this instance, the blurred faces passing by could be representative of the many figures in his life trying to navigate him in all manner of directions. For example, his friend René (Patrick Auffay) is a constant helping hand in times that Antoine feels cornered or fearful of the penalties of his actions. Whereas Gilberte at one point bargains with Antoine to achieve better grades, only to be accused of plagiarism when he finally buckles down. In his many attempts to 'do the right thing', Antoine is only left more confused and alone than he was before, making him a character we can utterly sympathise with.
|Fig 2 - The 400 Blows - Antoine|
I think The 400 Blows is a pretty beautiful sentiment about the struggles of coming to terms with alienation and the reality of life's hardships. It ultimately tells us that our upbringing should not dictate who we choose to be, though our actions may not always reflect exactly who we are.
Fig. 1 The 400 Blows Poster (1959) From: The 400 Blows - Directed by: François Truffaut
Fig. 2 The 400 Blows Screenshot (1959) From: The 400 Blows - Directed by: François Truffaut