Dheepan poster

Dheepan movie poster

Rather than playing it safe, award-winning French filmmaker Jacques Audiard (A Prophet, Rush and Bone) always tries to push the boundaries of cinema, whether it’s in terms of content or format. With his latest movie, Dheepan, he attempts to create a realistic work, this time taking on topical themes, immigration and violence in the projects. While he doesn’t pretend to make a documentary, he doesn’t seem to have answers to the questions he is raising either, making it quickly clear he isn’t mastering his subject.

Apart from a prologue in Asia and a conclusion in England, the film is set in a unique location: a suburban city infested with gang wars. A metaphorical laboratory, this area is mainly used as a background while the movie would have gained treating it as a full-fleshed character.
Less bloated than in some of his previous opuses, Mr. Audiard’s direction aims at being realistic but, surprisingly, turns out to be unbelievable, as if it was just built on clichés and fantasy. We don’t learn much about the projects, most characters being stereotyped thugs, even though an effort was made to not stigmatize minorities by making the gang leader a white man.

A former Tamil Tiger relocating to France, Dheepan (Antonythasan Jesuthasan) and his family are confronted to the local violence, which is different from he comes from and, through his role as a concierge, we could have been privileged witnesses of this rough micro-society’s life. Unfortunately, Mr. Audiard seems more interested in creating beautiful shots and camera moves than portraying assimilation in a new, hostile environment. As a result, we are unable to find emotional attachment to the characters which, just like this movie, end up looking artificial.

The last part isn’t more believable, the movie suddenly turning into a ridiculous Cannon Films-style flick with plenty of blood, Dheepan then channeling his inner-Charles Bronson. At this moment, the realistic aspirations are long gone, leaving us with the bitter taste of failure.

Director: Jacques Audiard – Actors: Antonythasan Jesuthasan, Kalieaswari Srinivasan – Running Time: 1:55 – Year: 2015 – Country: France
Click here to watch the Dheepan trailer
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Moland Fengkov

Moland Fengkov

Based in Paris, Moland is a journalist and photographer; He is more particularly responsible for covering the Cannes film festival for Plume Noire, writing movie reviews and taking gorgeous pictures.
Moland Fengkov

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