The car accidents are ever-increasing in their gruesomeness, with the bloody and broken bodies of men, women, and children strewn about the road. The couple passes by the accidents with hardly a glance. Their only concern is the money they expect to receive. However, the myriad of accidents hinders their progress to the point where they must take notice. They’re thrown wildly off course and, as they try to find their way, they begin to have odd encounters. The people they interact with are characters from literature and historical figures. One of the most bizarre encounters is when they meet up with author Emily Bronte and the character Thom Thumb. The Durands lose their patience (to put it mildly) as Bronte ponders the meaning of life.
Godard’s film suggests that a middle-class lifestyle results in apathy and downright shallowness. He seems to believe the desire for money wipes out compassion and common decency. Corinne steals the designer jeans off a corpse she finds along the side of the road. Roland steals a car for no other reason than his own feelings of entitlement. Over the course of the film the satire fades as a revolutionary group of hippies take the couple hostage. The hippies are brutal and savage. They ignore taboos; even cannibalism is not too far out there for them. The film seems to suggest that this type of radicalism is the antidote for the bourgeois apathy. In order to accept this idea, it has to be accepted that the bourgeois are bad. That money breeds callousness, and that consumerism is the downfall of society. If these things aren’t accepted, this film feels like a slap in the face to the average, workaday person.
Weekend is not an easy film to watch. As I mentioned earlier, it presents some interesting concepts and some unique imagery. However, I found its message to be muddled and too radical. The allegory was not easy to follow at all times. Honestly, I wasn’t sure who or what was supposed to be represented during each encounter. Trying to figure it all out feels like a homework assignment. In the end, even films that present some kind of message need to entertain and I think this film ultimately failed on that level. I would have a hard time recommending this film to anyone that isn’t a fan of Godard’s work.