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The movie Indochine analysis

Updated on November 14, 2012

Central character in film Indochine

Can individuals effect revolutionary change in society? The central character of the film Indochine directed by Régis Wargnier proves that individuals can make revolutionary changes in the society. But if you ask the same question to the protagonist of the novel Rickshaw by Lao She he will you the reply that man is just a slave of the circumstances. The novel and the film had different visions of the relationship of individuals to revolution. These visions are opposed to one another if we measure the life of the major characters in the film and the play. The life of the main character Camille of the film Indochine and the life of the protagonist Hsiang Tzu of the novel Rickshaw reveal that fate leaves some people to their wishes while it makes certain others deprived of their desires and dreams.

Analysis of the character Hsiang Tzu

Hsiang Tzu, the protagonist in Rickshaw goes through numerous trials and difficulties that he never expected in his life. He is a victim of fate who never received what he desired and expected in his life. In the life of this unfortunate Rickshaw driver, things happen that are completely out of his control. He is driven by these strange experiences that take him to misfortunes. We find in the novel that when the poor Hsiang Tzu first get an own Rickshaw he travels with the Rickshaw to some inner part of the town where he is abducted by soldiers. Even though it was his decision to go to that particular part of that town only his bad fate made him caught by the soldiers who seized his rickshaw and enslaved him. Hsiang Tzu however plans an escape plan and escapes with camels from the soldiers’ camp. He later sold the camels for thirty five dollars which took his life towards a different direction that he never expected. With the money he returns to Jen Ho agency which rented rickshaws for drivers. Hsiang Tzu abides with Jen Ho agency as he was their favorite. He stayed with Jen Ho and entrusted him with his money. Hsiang Tzu life with Jen Ho made him go through several unexpected experiences that he never desired or expected in his life. He fell into the trick of Jen Ho’s daughter Hu Niu whom he had to marry without having any interest. She forced him to marry her as he got seduced by her one evening when her father was not at home. Hsiang Tzu never wanted to marry Hu Niu but fate made him do that. If he had not been kidnapped by the soldiers he would not have escaped with the camels and acquired that money. If he had not obtained that money he would not have gone to Jen Ho. All these things were not according to the wishes or plans of poor Hsiang Tzu. He was pushed by the circumstances. These invents happened in the life of Hsiang Tzu without a whole lot of control. Hsiang Tzu thus turned out be the victim of fate, even though he did not take any decisions himself. He just lets things happen in his life. The unfortunate Hsiang Tzu proceeds with his life living with what fate presented him. He did not give himself anything rather he accepted everything fate presented him.

Camille refusing to be a victim

The life of Camille the main character in the film Indochine however is contrary to the life of Hsiang Tzu the protagonist of Rickshaw. Camille was never a victim to her circumstances. Camille was a young Indochinese woman who was adopted by Madame Devries. Indochine is the story of love and separation explained through the setting of a country in turmoil. Even though Camille also falls into various circumstances that are beyond her control she manages to come out of everything. She fails to surrender to fate and find success through her daring attempts and decisions. Camille gets separated from her lover and was compelled to surrender to an arranged marriage. She however succeeds to get her lover back by traveling to his place. When the government seizes her husband and her child away her also she refuses to get depressed and surrender to her fate. Camille breaks away from the old views of imperialism and move to communism (Orsenna, 1992). Camille was captured and sent to prison. When she got released from the prison she refuses to go with Madame Devries and her son. She rather chooses to fight for other’s rights. She also does not want her son to know all the horrors she suffered in her life. She refused to accept what fate presented her.

Man, a slave to his circumstances?

The life of the main character Camille of the film “Indochine” and the protagonist Hsiang Tzu of the novel "Rickshaw" reveal that fate leaves some people to their wishes while it makes certain others deprived of their desires and dreams. Camille of Indochine was left by fate to succeed in all her endeavors. She fought against the fate and never surrendered to her circumstances. Even though she was disturbed by fate she delivered herself from everything. Hsiang Tzu however got surrendered to his fate. He was otherwise not let by fate to live his life. Hsiang Tzu did make few decisions in his life with an intention to succeed. However every time he tried making some decisions fate interfered and took him away from his desires and plans. Fate took him in an entirely different route that he never expected. Hsiang Tzu doesn’t seem to possess any big desire to succeed in life. He however wanted to pull his rickshaw and live a life of freedom. We find in the end of the novel that Hsiang Tzu is left with no hope. He got abandoned by the author without any comfort. The life of Hsiang Tzu emphasizes the ultimate control of fate in the life of human beings. Hsiang Tzu could not influence his life in any way. He was rather made to surrender to fate which took him away from his desires and plans. The life of Hsiang Tzu gives out the message that man is a slave to the circumstances.


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