daa-nyell, FAWSS! Click below to hear this.
Daniel, go in now!
Okay, here we go! Last segment of The Tourist, for your enjoyment. (The first five scenes began here.) You may press the PLAY button!
Elise, having read her note, calmly sets fire to it in her tea saucer, then stands and walks away from the café, leaving the commotion behind her. Further orders are yelled: Save the letter! Scotland Yard wants to know what’s going on. Paris has spun into chaos. The van guys shout: Daniel, fonce!
No more covert surveillance. Break your cover, go in now, save the letter, put out the fire!
It’s too late. The field operative carefully scoops up the ashes, black and fluttery, and slides them into (an envelope? a handkerchief? I have forgotten. It’s certainly not a zip lock baggie). The instructions that we were shown over Elise’s shoulder are gone, surely they are irretrievably gone. The police are at a dead end. Aren’t they?
Well, you’ll have to find out for yourself. This is the end of the line for us, at least in this movie, because Elise is on her way to Venice where they don’t speak French, following those very instructions.
But there are two more things to be said. One is about the word foncer in French. You would not believe the variety of contexts in which you can use this word! Here, it means to run very fast towards something or to charge full speed ahead. But in the kitchen, it can mean to line, as in lining a pie plate with crust. In industry, it can mean to dig vertically, as in digging a well. On the road, it can mean to floor the accelerator, risking a ticket. In the clothing industry, it can mean to dye, when you are darkening the color of the fabric. And, by extension, it’s what happens to the leaves in autumn.
And all this because the word foncer is derived from le fond, meaning bottom. (No, not yours; that’s your derrière.) The concept behind foncer is to take something to its endpoint, not to stop until you are done.
In that same spirit, charging ahead with one last factoid: Did you know that The Tourist was a remake of a French movie? It was made in 2005 and called Anthony Zimmer. Here’s a link to a plot summary of the original movie.
See you around the corner! I’ll have another fun post–on a different topic–in a few days.