Their first directorial effort since the much acclaimed The Son, Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne’s L’Enfant is a more emotionally charged and less morally ambiguous, albeit as psychologically complex tale when compared to the former. Filmed with the kind of stark and grim realism that has become a hallmark for the Dardenne brothers, the movie comprises of a strong social commentary in the story of Bruno, a young small-time hustler who realizes the kind of reverberations that an act of utter ethical and moral callousness – that of selling his new-born baby in the gray market, can cause. His comeuppance becomes really profound not just because Sonia, his girlfriend and the baby’s mother, is expectedly mad at him, but because, perhaps for the first time in his life, he is having to face the immaturity and irresponsibility that have come to define his very existence. Thus, by the time of its powerful final scene, Bruno has become a more rounded person from being just another surface-deep crook. The acting of the two principal leads has helped in exploring the moral chaos that typifies life in a colourless urban jungle. As with The Son, the movie has been filmed in an unspectacular cinema verité style and is devoid of any background score – as if the Dardenne’s camera is just a silent bystander observing life.
Directors: Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne
Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama/Urban Drama