This is a review of the 1969 French film “More,” directed by Barbet Schroeder and featuring a soundtrack by Pink Floyd.

SPOILER ALERT: This review reveals elements of the plot.

This movie made me not want to do drugs ever again, or hang around drug people, or watch any of Barbet Schroeder’s other movies. The only story, and the only good photography, exceptional acting, and interest-points of the characters, come in the last ten minutes of the movie. Everything else is a chore to behold, in a visceral, basic, yet seemingly unintentional way.

I don’t think Schroeder wanted either of his main characters to be appealing, or lovable, but the problem with this movie is that they only become sympathetic or interesting when they become complete stuttering heroin addicts, and that only really occurs at the end of the movie. Prior to that, it is tempting to look away from them, not because their behavior is so shocking or upsetting, but because it’s almost ordinary, unenlightened.

The LSD scene, on the other hand, is a good one in the sense that their drug abuse seems to assume a purpose, delivers something to them which gives it meaning, in fact injecting meaning into their lives. They hug, and it is as though drugs have helped them find something. Maybe part of the message is that drugs won’t really provide you with anything meaningful or solid, but these losers have nothing to gain because they have nothing within themselves to grow on. More on this point in a moment.

The ending is indeed a bit tragic, because Stefan only becomes slightly sympathetic, slightly likable, when he is really hooked, when he is doomed. His death has no meaning, except that the death of a drug addict is without meaning. This is the sad fate of movies that portray characters moving towards doom with nothing besides the journey itself to lend any meaning to their lives. It would be different if Stefan or Estelle had any character besides their essentially insufferable superficiality. But Schroeder denies us this, presumably to magnify the meaninglessness of drug-abuse, the pointlessness of the lives of these two misanthropes. The title of the movie, “More,” is the meaning of it (always needing more), but these two don’t have anything within themselves to begin with.

Maybe the idea is that having nothing inside or in the world brings people to this point, lusting quixotically after some invisible form of perfection, “More,” the ultimate high. But there is nothing to it besides that, nothing to these characters besides their blank-slate personalities, hence there is very, very little to their tragedy, and makes for an unsatisfying movie.

Worth watching, but, like heroin (another part of Schroeder’s idea?) you’ll be left wanting more, and feeling robbed.

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