A quick google search suggests anything between 600 and 10,000 marriage proposals take place on or in front of la grande dame, the Eiffel Tower. It is clearly a beacon to and of love – ❤️! Eiffel, the film, promises to show you the story behind this iconic symbol.
So onto the man himself, Gustave Eiffel played by Roman Duris is passionate, fair and believes in equality. However, the film focuses on the love story more than the building. Mr Eiffel built the A frame structure as a lasting memorial of love for the woman he wasn’t allowed to marry, Adrienne Bourges (Emma Mackey) if the film is to be believed.
Eiffel starts off with such promise when we see the man be awarded the medal on behalf of the people of the USA for giving them the Statue of Liberty. Eiffel is never bettered when the scenes focus on the building of the metal structures, the bridge at the beginning of the film and then moving onto the tower. All of those scenes provide the momentum for the film but are few and far between. Even the scene where Eiffel says “I don’t see the point of building something that serves little purpose” feels like a blink and miss it scene. One of the world’s most visited monuments almost never got built and yet the audience never gets to really sit with this moment.
What lets Eiffel down, as ironic as it sounds is the love story. It feels a bit contrived. Lovely as it is, I could have done with less of it and more about the man and his buildings. The skipping between past and present starts to feel a bit tedious as well.
The film struggles because it tries not to be a straight biopic but ends up being a mish mash of soppy human love story when really Eiffel’s first and fiercest love was for metal!
Eiffel was released in cinemas across the UK on 12 August.