DHEEPAN (2015)

Directed By: Jacques Audiard 
Written By: Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain & Noe Debre 
Cinematography By: Eponine Momenceau 
Editor: Juliette Welfling 

Cast: Jesuthasan Antonythasan, Kalieaswari Srinivasan, Claudine Vinasithamby, Vincent Rottiers
Marc Zinga Dheepan is a Tamil freedom fighter, a Tiger. In Sri Lanka, the Civil War is reaching its end, and defeat is near. Dheepan decides to flee, taking with him two strangers – a woman and a little girl – hoping that they will make it easier for him to claim asylum in Europe. Arriving in Paris, the ‘family’ moves from one temporary home to another until Dheepan finds work as the caretaker of a run-down housing block in the suburbs. He works to build a new life and a real home for his ‘wife’ and his ‘daughter’, but the daily violence he confronts quickly reopens his war wounds, and Dheepan is forced to reconnect with his warrior’s instincts to protect the people he hopes will become his true family. 


The first French film shot nearly entirely in the Tamil language. In fact The first film in Tamil language and with Tamil lead actors to win the Palme d’Or.

The film involves a former soldier is suffering from PTSD. Tries to start over with a new identity and a fake family.

Not as violent or action-packed as once thought and advertised. As mostly there are scenes of action but we see it mainly from his point of view and more towards the end. Even though throughout the film the characters are surrounded by dangerous characters and hear stories of violence in their new home and the one they are coming from.

As the film moves along it becomes a slow-burning vigilante tale with heart. As it seems here thankfully the film considers the characters first and the action is secondary.

Once the action starts what a glorious sequence it is. The film is full of vivid handheld camera work which makes some scenes more dramatic than one would think.

The film focuses on him and his makeshift wife mostly. Their relationship and how it actually blossoms purely out of survival at first then slowly becomes affectionate. While they also raise an orphan girl who is more in the background and used more to help them get sympathy but is the chain that binds them together. As they have escaped war-torn Sri Lanka only to move into and work in a gang filled Parisian housing development (projects)

She slowly gets close to the son of the elderly man she takes care of, the son is a gang leader who is under house arrest. So that she is constantly in the middle of the current war going on in the streets. 

Everything goes good until the third act with the reemergence of an old general who has lost it. He seems to have cursed them as old nightmares come to the forefront in the new form of continuous random violence until DHEEPAN decides to take a stand. As he couldn’t before, forming a peace block.

The film is pretty straight forward which is why it might seem like I am just telling the plot and scenes. Just as with his precious film director Jacques Audiard has us with the characters every step of the way. Right up in their faces.

The film is an immigrant story that doesn’t solely focus on being in a new country and trying to assimilate more dealing with the troubled past of the characters as they try to settle. Starting a new life when virtually everything is new and different. Especially as most of the leading cast had never acted in a film before. So it gives the film unmannered performances that make it feel all the more natural and real.

It’s the anti – BROOKLYN movie (which is a romantic tale of an Irish immigrant in New York on the 1950s)

Not much happens but much is felt though at times the film seems to try to hide it’s hand. Even as one thing really particularly shocking happens in the film.

After his more provocative films. He plays this one pretty straight other than turning the camera in characters and cultures usually not seen on the big screen.

Happy for the ending as it is rare for these types of tales to end positively and with promise. They always seem to be downtrodden, sacrificial, or compromised.

Grade: B+

THE WORLD IS YOURS (2018)

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Directed By: Romain Gavras
Written By: Romain Gavras, Noe Debre & Karim Boukercha
Cinematography: Andre Chemetoff
Editor: Benjamin Weill
Music By: Jamie XX & SebastiAn

Cast: Karim Leklou, Oulaya Amamra, Isabelle Adjani, Vincent Cassel, Sam Spruell, Gabby Rose, Ladj Ly

A small-time dealer dreams of another life but can’t afford it. To escape, he must accept one last job involving Spain, drugs, the Illuminati and his overbearing mother.

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THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (LA FILLE DU RER) (2009)

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Directed By: Andre Techine
Written By: Andre Techine, Odile Banski, & Jean Maire-Besset
Based on a play By: Jean Maire-Besset
Cinematography By: Julien Hirsch
Editor: Martine Giordano

CAST: Emille Dequenne, Michel Blanc, Catherine Denueve

A drama centered on a young woman who claims she was the target of an anti-Semetic attack and the subsequent media sensation it creates.

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I LOST MY BODY (2019)

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Directed By: Jeremy Clapin
Written By: Jeremy Clapin & Guillaume Laurent
Based On The Novel By: Guillaume Laurent
Cinematography: Benjamin Massoubre 


Cast: (Voices) FRENCH VERSION – Hakim Faris, Victoire Du Bois, Patrick D’Assumcao, Bellamine Abdelmalek, Nicole Favart. 


AMERICAN VERSION – Dev Patel, Alia Shawkat, George Wendt, Johnny Mars, Jaarod Pistill 

A story of Naoufel, a young man who is in love with Gabrielle. In another part of town, a severed hand escapes from a dissection lab, determined to find its body again. Continue reading “I LOST MY BODY (2019)”

MICMACS (2010)

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Directed By: Jean-Pierre Jenut
Written By: Jean-Pierre Jenut & Guillaume Laurant
Cinematography By: Tetsuo Nagata
Editor: Herve Schneid

Cast: Danny Boon, Julie Ferrier, Dominique Pinon

Avid movie-watcher and video store clerk Bazil has had his life all but ruined by weapons of war. His father was killed by a landmine in Morocco and one fateful night a stray bullet from a nearby shootout embeds itself in his skull, leaving him on the verge of instantaneous death. Losing his job and his home, Bazil wanders the streets until he meets Slammer, a pardoned convict who introduces him to a band of eccentric junkyard dealers including Calculator, a math expert and statistician, Buster, a record-holder in human cannonball feats, Tiny Pete, an artistic craftsman of automatons, and Elastic Girl, a sassy contortionist. When chance reveals to Bazil the two weapons manufacturers responsible for building the instruments of his destruction, he constructs a complex scheme for revenge that his newfound family is all too happy to help set in motion.

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SHALL WE KISS? (2007)

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Written & Directed By: Emmanuel Mouret
Cinematography: Laurent Desmet
Editor: Martial Salomon

Cast: Emmanuel Mouret, Virgine Ledoyen, Julie Gayet, Michael Cohen, Frederique Bel, Stefano Accorsi

When Gabriel and Emilie meet by chance, he offers her a ride, and they spend the evening talking, laughing and getting along famously. At the end of the night, Emilie declines Gabriel’s offer of “a kiss without consequences”. Emilie admonishes him that the kiss could have unexpected consequences, and tells him a story, unfolding in flashbacks, about the impossibility of indulging your desires without affecting someone else’s life.

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HALL OF FAME: FILE #0062: 13 TZAMETI (2005)

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Written & Directed By: Gela Babluani
Cinematography By: Tariel Meliava
Editor: Noemie Moreau 


Cast: George Babluani, Aurelien Recoing, Pascal Bongard, Vania Vilers 

Sebastian, a young man, has decided to follow instructions intended for someone else, without knowing where they will take him. Something else he does not know is that Gerard Dorez, a cop on a knife-edge, is tailing him. When he reaches his destination, Sebastian falls into a degenerate, clandestine world of mental chaos behind closed doors in which men gamble on the lives of others men.

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THE LADY IN THE CAR WITH GLASSES AND A GUN (2015)

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Directed By: Joann Sfar
Written By: Patrick Godeau & Gilles Marchand
Based on the Novel By: Sebastien Japrisot
Cinematography By: Manuel Dacosse
Editor: Maryline Monthieux & Christophe Pinel 


Cast: Freya Mavor, Stacy Martin, Benjamin Biolay, Elio Germano, Thierry Hancisse

A secretary steals her boss’ car to go joyriding. She visits a seaside town she swears she’s never been to, but everyone knows her name. And when a body turns up in the trunk of the car, she is the lead suspect in a murder she knows nothing about. Is she going crazy?

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THE HORDE (2009)

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Directed By: Yannick Dahan & Benjamin Docher
Written By: Arnaud Bordas, Stephane Moissakas, Yannick Dahan & Benjamin Docher
Script Consultant: Nicolas Peufaillit
Cinematography By: Julien Meurice
Editor: Dimitri Amar 

Cast: Eriq Ebouaney, Claude Perron, Jean-Pierre Martins, Aurelien Recoing, Doudou Masta 


A posse of crooked cops, malevolent gangsters and a horde of walking dead are the centre point of this gruesome, tight, action packed, claustrophobic tale of retribution and escape. Penned like animals, on the top floor of a deserted high-rise block, these two opposing gangs find that they are not alone in the lair of bloodthirsty corridors of death. Joining forces to survive, they must reach ground level together or perish.

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ZAZIE DANS LE METRO (1960)

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Directed By: Louis Malle
Written By: Louis Malle & Jean-Paul Rappeneau
Based on the Novel By: Raymond Queneau
Cinematography: Henry Raichi
Editor: Kenout Peltier 


Cast: Catherine Demongeot, Phillipe Noiret, Hubert Dechamps, Carla Marlier, Annie Fratellini 


With her mother away for the weekend, a brash and precocious ten-year-old country-girl sets out to explore Paris during a Métro strike, under her uncle’s not-so-watchful eye. Can a little girl cause so much chaos in the heart of the city?

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