Lowdown: Meaningless French film-noir.
There is something about film noir that attracts me; yet most its recent treatments have been a failure, and the French film A Private Affair definitely qualifies as one.
The film follows a private detective assigned to find a 21 year old who has been missing for more than six months. He follows her last recorded foot steps, going to the places she has been to and meeting with the people she used to meet. In the process, we get to see him handling his own life affairs, meeting the people he usually meets and doing the things he usually does; and given that it's film noir we're talking about here, there is always some tragic atmosphere to it all - the way he has sex with a married woman, his gambling, the way he is beaten up ala Chinatown...
Overall, there is a lot of cynicism about this film established through the randomness of the events taking place: what is it that we're doing in this world? Where is this entire affair called life leading us to? If anything, the film tends to suggest, through the various encounters the hero character has, that our fates are all entangled with one another's. Problem is, the film does it by being rather pointless, boring and way too obscure.
I like thought provoking films, but this one is a waste of time. If I want a collection of interesting yet pointless scenes, I play a computer game.
Best scene: The hero has a pee while holding a coffee peculator, demonstrating fine French hygiene values.
Overall: A waste of time; 0.5 stars after adding a bonus 0.5 stars for nudity and sex scenes (just because every good film should have some of those).