Friday, July 17, 2009


Have you ever gone to work to find everything and everyone gone? It happened to one of my colleagues last year. He returned from an overseas holiday and stepped out of the lift to discover everyone gone and no indication of where we had disappeared to. It happens at the beginning of Louise-Michel, where a group of factory workers turn up to work to discover that the factory has been stripped bare over night. Their union comes up with a 1000 Euro each, which they entrust to Louise to implement her idea to hire a hit-man to "whack" their boss.

OK we are in a French comedy but not the usual sort of French farce. This one reminded me more of The Office and Napoleon Dynamite - deadpan, politically incorrect and almost imperceptibly more and more screw ball. At first Louise is the only only odd character, and she just seems slightly slow and illiterate but gradually the film is populated by more and more of these characters who operate according to their own crazy logic almost unnoticed by the normal members of the public (who seem to be an endangered species by the end of the film). The illiterate, transsexuals, people in wheelchairs are all grist to the humour mill. The film takes a detached view of its characters. People wander in and out of shot, and the plot is less than obvious and the humour is often of the shock variety.

I like black humour and enjoyed the oblique approach of this film, though it won't make my top ten.

(Anne) It won't be making my top ten either, and could be a close contender for my bottom five. This film seems to be what might happen if the French made "Little Britain" - politically incorrect deadpan humour which sadly I didn't find very funny. The film quality was grainy, and the sky was overcast and Louise's eating habits (dead pigeon and raw rabbit) added a definite ick factor. Why suffer - just take my advice and stay away.

Ian's rating 3.5/5 Anne's rating 1/5

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