Set in contemporary Paris, the movie is a variation of the classic Greek myth of Orpheus. Here, Orpheus is a poet who becomes obsessed with Death (the Princess), while one of Death's associates, Heurtebise, entertains analogous unrequited love for Eurydice. They fall in love. Orpheus's wife, Eurydice, is killed by the Princess' henchmen and Orpheus goes after her into the Underworld. Although they have become dangerously entangled, the Princess sends Orpheus back out of the Underworld, to carry on his life with Eurydice.
This diverges from the common classical account found in the Roman versions of the myth by Ovid and Virgil, where Eurydice is lost forever, but hearkens back to the