Faits divers about Madame Bovery – Gemma Bovery

„Madame Bovery“ von Gustave Flaubert erschien im Jahre 1856. Der Gesellschaftsroman hatte früher den Untertitel – „Ein Sittenbild aus der Provinz“. Prompt nach der Veröffentlichung in der Zeitschrift La Revue de Paris wurde Flaubert von der Zensurbehörde wegen Verstosses gegen die guten Sitten und Verleitens zum Ehebruch angeklagt. In diesem Prozess wurde  Flaubert jedoch freigesprochen. Heute gilt „Madame Bovery“ als eines der bedeuteten Werke der Weltliteratur. Zusammen mit „Anna Karenina“ von Leo Tolstoj liegt der Roman das umfassendste Bild der Seelenzustände und Wunschprojektionen von Frauen vor.

Wenn Männer ratlos mit den Schultern zucken und den betagten Ausdruck  in die Runde schmeissen – man würde Frauen nie verstehen -, hätte ich stets einen Tipp  parat: Lassen sie Datig- und Flirt-Ratgeber weg, lesen sie nur diese zwei Romane. Wenn man einen Modernisierungsbedarf verspürt, wäre da der Beistand von Simone de Beauvoir ganz hilfreich („Le Deuxième Sexe“ zum Beispiel). Mehr braucht es wirklich nicht, um die Rätsel zu entschlüsseln.

In Frankreich gehört längst Madame Bovery, wie die Marianne und Marseillaise, zum berühmten Nationalstolz der Franzosen. Noch im Jahre 1896 hat der junge Heinrich Mann folgendes über die Bedeutung vom Flauberts Roman geschrieben: „Madame Bovery“ ist von mehreren Literatengenerationen studiert worden wie die Bibel von Theologen studiert wird. Ihr Geist und Teile ihrer unvergleichlichen Lebensfülle sind in unzählige Bücher übergegangen“. Bis heute hat das Interesse am Roman und seinem Autor kaum nachgelassen. Aus verschiedenen kulturellen Inputs ist Flaubert nicht mehr wegzudenken. Nur ein Beispiel aus unserem Metier: Im von uns hoch geschätzten diesjährigen Oscar-Gewinner „Birdman“ (auf TDS im Januar umfangreich rezensiert) wurde Flaubert vom Mike Shiner (Edward Norton) zitiert, um seine Verachtung gegenüber der Theaterkritikerin zu verdeutlichen.

Der Roman selbst wurde seit 1934 zwölf Mal verfilmt – in Frankreich, Deutschland Argentinien, England, Bulgarien, Indien, USA. Die beste Interpretation bis jetzt hat Claude Chabrol mit Isabelle Huppert in der Hauptrolle geliefert (1991). Ihre unterkühlte, introvertierte Art,  gepaart mit wachsamer Lebendigkeit, erzeugt eine bis dahin unbekannte Emma – weniger romantisch, viel mehr lapidarer und lustorientierter. Nun, in wenigen Monaten kommt die nächste „Madame Bovery“ ins Kino – von Sophie Bartes mit Mia Wasikowska (war bereits in den Literaturverfilmungen „Alice im Wunderland“ und „Jane Eyre“ zu sehen)  als Emma aus der heutigen Perspektive.

Aus oben genannten Gründen war es für mich kaum überraschend, die französische Produktion „Gemma Bovery“ (2014) von Anne Fontaine zu entdecken. Es ist keine Verfilmung des Romans im klassischen Sinne, nur eine Hommage an den Kult-Roman, seine unvergängliche Aktualität und Wege, welche die Literatur einschlägt, wenn sie versucht, das wahre Leben zu beeinflussen. Es ist oft aufregend, inspirierend, doch nicht immer wünschenswert, wie „Gemma Bovery“  humorvoll und der Realität Tribut leistend zeigt.

Genervt von ihrer kleinbürgerlichen Existenz in London überredet Gemma (Gemma Arterton) ihren Ehemann Charles (Jason Flemyng), mit ihr in ein beschauliches Dorf in der Normandie zu ziehen. Dort angekommen, scheint es so, als hätte der Bäcker Martin (Fabrice Luchini) nur auf sie gewartet, um seine literarischen Vorlieben auf die Probe zu stellen. Der Tag, an dem Gemma ihn geheimnisvoll anlächelte,  nennt er das Ende seiner sexuellen Abstinenz. Nicht, dass der Ex-Pariser der jungen Dame gleich Avancen macht, er versucht nur nett und behilflich zu sein, geniesst die betörenden Momente der körperlichen Nähe zu Gemma und beobachtet…

Das Verhalten der englischen Großstädter, wie auch ihre Namen, scheinen tatsächlich durch Flauberts Roman inspiriert zu sein. Da Martin das Leben von Gemma auf das Romanleben von Emma projiziert, versucht er die Engländerin vor dem Unglücklichsein der berühmten Französin zu schützen. Doch genau das verursacht eine ganze Reihe von Missverständnissen und schliesslich ein tragisches verblüffendes Finale. In seinem literarischen Gedankensumpf verliert Martin anschliessend den Bezug zur Realität und spricht seine neue Nachbarin als Anna Karenina an.

Konclusion: Ein typisch französischer Film (auf TDS in April – French joie de vivre), welcher keine bandbrechenden Erkenntnisse anbietet, jedoch ein malerisches Ambiente mit lustvollen Verwicklungen ausmalt.  Obwohl ihm definitiv der Tiefgang fehlt,  geeignet für diejenigen, die den Roman Flauberts lieben, die französische Gelassenheit im Umgang mit Lebenskrisen bewundern und Überraschungen schätzen.  Bon voyage!

Prescription for: Flaubert, Normandy and French Film lovers

Gemma Bovery, 2014, France, 100 min, by Anne Fontaine, with Gemma Arterton, Fabrice Luchini, Jason Flemyng, Mel Raido, Niels Schneider

14 thoughts on “Faits divers about Madame Bovery – Gemma Bovery”

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