Posted Nov 1, 2022, 3:00 PM
A stone’s throw from Cannes, they go wild to win the palme d’or for the most detestable character. Adrien (Pierre Niney), an attractive young man who had to give up his career as a dancer after a motorbike accident, lives off Martha (Isabelle Adjani), a former film star who is no more than the shadow of what she was and imposes her toxic selfishness on those around her. The quasi-gigolo Adrien sees his existence turned upside down when he meets Margot (Marine Vacth), a young woman just as cynical as him who plays with her advantageous physique to charm rich suckers and rob them. Having become lovers and allies, Adrien and Margot, apparently in love, will move up a gear to defraud their contemporaries. At the top of the list: the distressing Simon (François Cluzet), a real estate agent who, having fallen madly in love with Margot, abandons everything for her and is the object of a treacherous manipulation hatched by the chosen one of his heart.
When he talks about “Masquerade”, his new fiction, Nicolas Bedos does not go four ways, or even in twos: “This film is my nightmare of human relations in general and sentimental in particular”, sums up the filmmaker. We couldn’t put it better since nobody, really nobody, is to be saved among these protagonists swearing only by the lure of profit and agitating in the decorations of a Côte d’Azur gangrene to the bone by bad taste and excessive bling-bling.
This little game of massacre is not lacking in comical assets, and Nicolas Bedos orchestrates with often gratifying skill the bad tricks concocted by Margot, this enraged young woman who intends to exploit to the maximum the weaknesses of the wealthy males who cross her path. Eyeing the cowardly Italian comedies of the golden age, “Masquerade”, with its scathing humour, does not however manage to completely seduce. The fault, in the first place, with an uncertain rhythm (the film stretches over 2 h 14, i.e. 45 minutes too long) and with a principle of accumulation – always more twists, always more great actors freewheeling – which can legitimately tire. Less convincing than “Mr and Mrs Adelman” and, above all, than ” The good times “, his best film to date, “Masquerade”, despite its flaws, nevertheless confirms the originality of the filmmaker Nicolas Bedos a “divisive” author more stimulating than many others.
by Nicolas Bedos
with Pierre Niney, Marine Vacth, Isabelle Adjani. 2:14 a.m.
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“Masquerade”: the puppet theater of Nicolas Bedos