Film Studies

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Jean Renoir's 1996 film "Le Crime De M. Lange" is a political, social movie. This movie argues for the rights of the bourgois class. It is doing so by portraying their working life and their sufferings. Because of this reason, the viewers of this film are also from the bourgois class. (Bourgois is the French word for the public or the working-class) The directors of this film are also bourgoisie, which makes their way of portraying this class successful. This movie shows the power of money in France at that time and how people that had this power used the labor in the toughest manner.

Monsieur Lange is a writer at a print-shop owned by Batala. At the end of the film M. Lange kills Batala. The film doesn't portray this as a crime and this is because it portrays it as a necessary move from M.

Lange since life is better without Batala.

Christopher Foulkra commented on this film saying that 'the idea of it is that a man should defend his property that was taken away from him even if the thief did so legally' (An Ideology of politics, Christopher Foulkra). Batala is portrayed as this unscrupulous person who is not favored by his employees, his neighbors or the people that he deals with in general. He never pays back his debts, he over works his employees and uses them and he uses women as well as if they are also his property. Lange wrote a story called Jim of Arizona and it was a very good story that could've won him lots of fame. Batala liked it and he deceived him to sign a paper that gives Batala the rights of this story. He started changing things in it too and adding advertisements so he can make extra money from it.

Batala was thought to be dead in the train accident. He took advantage of that accident so he can hide from his creditors. When he was believed to be dead, his employees formed a very successful co-operative, and it was lucrative and they were getting paid well as well as paying back the creditors. Batala showed up and claimed everything to be his including the money that his employees made. Jim of Arizona was the main successful story that brought in the largest amount of money to the co-op. Batala claimed it to be his since Lange signed a paper that he was deceived to sign. After an argument between Lange and Batala, he offered to give him very little amount of the money. Lange and everyone else felt that everything was better without the presence of Batala. Lange thought that Batala being dead is for the benefit of everyone and so he decided to shoot him.

Lange's character was not the main point of concentration in the movie; rather it was the idea of being oppressed. Even when he shoots him at the end of the movie, he shows no reaction on his face. Also the mood of the scene of Batala's death is happy rather than sad.