The last day of competition Carcassonne International Political Film Festival 2022 offered in its selection two highly anticipated films in sold-out theaters. Between catching up Goliath by Frédéric Tellier and the screening ofArthur Rambo by Laurent Cantet, two great filmmakers shared the poster for this Monday, January 17.
Goliath by Frederic Tellier
Goliath plunges the spectator into a legal fight of a fierce lawyer (Gilles Lellouche) against an agrochemical company to recognize the dangerousness of a pesticide, responsible in particular for the disease of the husband of France (Emmanuelle Bercot). At the same time, Mathias (Pierre Niney), a brilliant lobbyist, is hired by this company to prevent European parliamentarians from voting to ban the product.
2 years later Dark Waters of Todd Haynes, Frederic Tellier (Save or perish, The SK1 case) directs the French counterpart to the American ecological thriller. However, the director of Save or perish will not directly attack the giant Monsanto, and the glyphosate scandal, whose story is strongly inspired, but prefers to go into the field of pure fiction. The film thus oscillates between a disturbing mixture of reality and pure inventions, not always knowing how to lead its narration. Frédéric Tellier never makes a frank choice, leaving the spectator frustrated in the face of unfinished script beginnings.
The narration follows three characters, the lobbyist, the wife of a patient and the lawyer on three stories which certainly come together, but which do not have a strong enough connection during the plot, giving the film a false rhythm. It would have been more effective than the characters played by Gilles Lellouche and Emmanuelle Bercot are one and the same person, thus embodying a solid “David” in the face of this designated Goliath.
Gilles Lellouche misses his role as a lawyer, using caricatural gestures thinking that the sleeve effect makes the good lawyer. The very Manichean game of Pierre Niney is also without nuance. He is the lobbyist, the academic embodiment of evil, bathed in ostentatious wealth while the poor peasants die in utter indifference.
Goliath disappoints because of a pseudo-fictional investigation that either does not take enough risk, or fails to end its story, preferring to remain in a banal Manichean thriller.
Arthur Rambo by Laurent Cantet
Karim D. (Rabah Nait Oufella) is a successful young writer, adored by all, following the publication of his first book. One day, hateful tweets he wrote under the pseudonym, Arthur Rambo, resurface, shocking public opinion. Everyone then turns their backs on him.
Laurent Cantet, Palme d’Or at Cannes for the film Between the walls, questions with Arthur Rambo the limits of freedom of expression drawing inspiration from the case Mehdi Meklat who caused a stir in the French literary community in 2017 following the republication of the hateful tweets that this young literary talent had published under a pseudonym. This film also highlights the question of the right to be forgotten on social networks, whose published content is never deleted and can reappear several years later. The character of Karim, previously adored, finds himself isolated from this pseudo trendy Parisian cultural milieu. The film is also the story of an escape when the author chooses to leave behind his social gains to take refuge with his family living in a modest neighborhood in the suburbs. The fallen writer faces the disappointed gaze of his brother, who wore him as a model of success.
The director multiplies the questions and takes a hard-hitting look at today’s society. Rabah Nait Oufella is astonishingly accurate in the skin of the protagonist, assailed from all sides and seeing this world of privilege slip away. Nevertheless, the scenario quickly loops and falls into a tiresome repetition until the writer returns to his family where the confrontation with his brother is the strongest scene of the film.
- Goliath, released March 9, 2022, StudioCanal
- Arthur Rambo, released February 2, 2022, Memento Distribution
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Carcassonne Film Festival 2022 / Highlights Monday January 17 – Bulles de Culture