Thursday, 21 November 2013
Bastards, Claire Denis’ first film in 4 years, is a grim, moody and deliberately convoluted thriller where the springboard for the proceedings was organized sex trafficking of teenage girls and the principal motif was revenge. As a humorous aside, the above two topics is sure to remind those who like Holly thrillers of Taken, but the two couldn’t be more different. The plot, despite its labyrinthine nature, took a back-seat here as the emphasis was more on the dark emotions – anger, desperation, lust, obsession, grief – that the various characters swim in. Marco (Vincent Lindon), a veteran naval captain, quits his plush job and moves to Paris when he hears the news of his brother-in-law Jacques’ suicide and his young niece (Lola Créton) being admitted to the hospital. As he starts getting into the cause of these developments a whole can of worms start emerging, and his focus becomes Edouard (Michel Subor), a tycoon who was a business associate of Jacques and his wife Sandra (Julie Bataille), Marco’s shattered and near-bankrupt sister. Though failed business enterprise seemed, on first glance, the reason for the tragedy, disturbing truths start emerging eventually. Meanwhile, he also becomes embroiled in a liaison with Edouard’s mistress Raphaëlle (Chiara Mastroianni, daughter of Marcello Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve), who lives with her young son in a neighboring apartment. The photography which was steeped in darkness, the minimalist score which comprised principally of guitar strumming, and the measured pacing, did a great job at evoking mood, atmosphere and tension. However, the non-linear plot unnecessarily complicated the proceedings, and the much anticipated resolution, much to my disappointment, never arrived.
p.s. Watched this as part of 2013 Kolkata International Film Festival (KFF)
Director: Claire Denis
Genre: Thriller/Psychological Thriller