Accordingly, this recognizable “comedy” is far more sad than happy, or, at least, bittersweet, particularly since it is Marius’ beloved Fanny who helps him escape family, friends, and her own love, by engaging César in conversation at the very moment his son is boarding a ship for perhaps (as we learn later in Fanny, a five-year voyage). In doing so, she is also sacrificing her own happiness, knowing perhaps that she will now be married off to Panisse and, perhaps already recognizing that she is pregnant (as we also find out in the second installment) with Marius’ child.
Since I have already intruded with the personal in this review of movie whose characters and city I have never experienced, perhaps I should admit that I have fully shared Marius’ seemingly perverse desires. As I have previously written in these pages, as a child I desperately wanted to be a missionary—not at all because I cared about teaching others (“the heathens”) about Christianity (I have been an atheist most of my adult life), but because in my limited childhood imagination it was the only way I knew that would allow me to travel to far-away locations on a regular basis. Indeed, my Christian fundamentalist cousin has done just that, traveling to Africa several times, to the Soviet Union, and elsewhere. Moreover, I also discovered, as a teenager and more definitely as an adult, that I absolutely adore ships and boats. I don’t believe in reincarnation either, but if there is such a thing I was certainly a sailor in another life, despite the fact that in my own lifetime I lived in a state with only a few small lakes and didn't properly learn to swim.