This film blew me away when I saw it at the UK premier. Didn't know what to expect before going into the cinema except it was set in a future dystopian France so half expected a low budget sci-fi but this is not sci-fi in the cheap star trek mold. The plot revolves around a society where people are forced to take part in random acts of cruelty against one another to get ahead. Many of these are ultra-violent versions of corporate training or assessment processes that might exist in interviews in the real world but the film expertly leaves much more to the imagination than it shows. A terrible sense of fear pervades every character in this film as they each barely trust each other. The main character is skillfully played by Sami Bouajila so that despite his evident cruelty he still comes across as sympathetic. These aspects alone make the concept interesting but countless other themes are hinted at leaving plenty of space for thought. Announcements on a tannoy system celebrate the births of new children. Is the human population unable or unwilling to reproduce? A counter appears on screen, sometimes accompanied by a voice over reading numbers that seem to be falling from around 800 million to around 600 million at the end of the film. Is this the human population in terminal decline? We see body bags being fed into a factory with a meat grinder and strong hints that people survive on human flesh. Is this out of necessity because other food supplies have dwindled or is it because the harsh, uncaring nature of the society mean that people are just indifferent to cannibalism? Throughout the film is shot expertly, thick, dark frames make it feel like the characters are swimming through the world. The music likewise is minimal but perfectly timed. In short go and see it.
Philippe lives in a world controlled by a caste system. Those who play the "game" correctly become higher and more powerful. Phillipe plays the game well but his wife wants him to return to reality. Its a love story after marriage.
January 12, 2021