In the late 60s and 70s, student riots have erupted across Paris. The angry youth fought with the government, cops and their parents. In Something in the Air, a group of young communists thin that it is time for a revolution.
Director Olivier Assayas takes viewers to the troubled time with empathy and a sense of understanding. The audiences are made to enjoy the anarchy that rules during that time just like the group of friends do.
One of them is Gilles (Clement Metayer), who is an artistic boy that you expect to encounter at an anarchist potluck. He meets Christine (Lola Creton) in high school. They are part of a young socialist underground group. She is a filmmaker who is more passionate about defacing properties and making pamphlets than Gilles.
Gilles and Christine’s relationship is focused on the movement. After several incidents, the group is separated to different parts of the continent. Their friendship fades into the bottom recesses of their memories.
Gilles tries to improve his artistic inclinations. Christine on the other hand becomes more distant from the movement that she was so passionate about in the past. These are the realities that Something in the Air wants to impart to viewers. Friendships wane and ideologies die.
Something in the Air feels like an old movie. The colors are slightly subdued to give that effect. Everything in the film helps create a believable world that the characters are in. Gilles is Assayas’ stand-in. The movie features his set-backs and triumphs the most.
Something in the Air is about growing up and passing fads. The young ones leave the revolution after a few years and the filmmaker doesn’t condemn nor condone them. Watching the student riots can bring back memories for people who were once part of that movement.