Here, Cleo is in the arms of her unnamed lover towards the beginning of the film. He has stopped by her apartment to say a quick hello before he has to dash off to work again.

Cleo and her lover are the only two people in this frame. In the background, viewers can see the headboard of Cleo’s bed. Cleo is looking off in the distance, while her lover is looking down at Cleo. Looking at this frame, I get the idea that Cleo is thinking about something which she is not sharing with her lover. It is easy to see that her mind is on something besides spending time with him, and this becomes clear upon screening the film, as it is revealed at the beginning that Cleo is worried she may have cancer. In this frame, she may also be considering the supposed love that her lover has for her. Cleo’s lover is on screen for a brief time during the film, as he is too busy working to pay much attention to Cleo. This puzzles Cleo, because although her lover says that he loves her, he does not make seeing Cleo a priority in his life. As she is spending time with him, Cleo starts to realize that if he truly loved her, he would make an effort to be in her life. Additionally, it is interesting that this character, “the lover”, remains unnamed. This lack of a specific identity creates distance between the lover and the audience, as well as between the lover and Cleo, and it foreshadows the eventual break between the two characters, when the lover rushes off to an unknown place to conduct more business, and when the audience follows Cleo around the city. When Cleo meets Antoine, the split between her and her lover is solidified, because she has finally met someone who she can be happy with, and she learns what the beginning of a true relationship can feel like. I think that Cleo’s relationships throughout the play are what ultimately cause her to change as a character. In the final scene, because she has undergone a dynamic shift, she is able to handle the news that she does in fact have cancer, and this is the only information the audience is left with as the action comes to an end.

Like what you read? Give Peyton McDonough a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.