Blake Edwards, USA, 1961
At the start of this sequence we see a double separation. The young woman abandons her cat in the street whilst the rain batters down, and her lover leaves her alone in the taxi, after she’s knocked back his offer of marriage. The weather reflects her feelings of loneliness, regret and rage against herself. Throughout the course of this the filmmaker has extras passing through the shot, reinforcing the rain for the viewer even though it may not actually be visible, due to the nature of the cinematic image. Umbrellas are always a guaranteed way of getting colour moving in interesting ways on screen.
She gets out of the taxi and retraces her steps to try and find her cat. She makes her way to the back courtyard where her cat has sought shelter. She searches for the cat, calling out to it, constantly under an epic torrent of rain, created in the studio whilst recording the scene. In the close ups we can’t tell whether it’s tears or rain that run down her face. It is, without a doubt, both (cf. Casablanca).
At the very moment she appears to have lost it all, she finds herself face to face with her fiancé, who has also returned to seek out the cat. We hear it meowing, and see its wet wee muzzle poking out from behind the box where it’s been sheltering. In the tradition of great romantic tales, the couple kiss, oblivious to the pouring rain that soaks them, pressing the soaking cat that brought them back together between their bodies. The same rain, and the same cat, has accompanied both the separation and the reunion of the couple.
couple and rain.