Mon Frère – **(*)

Posted: August 19, 2019 in 2019, France, Social Drama, XX1/2

French cinema dares to put unprofessional actors in front of the camera and it almost always works. Why doesn’t Hollywood take these risks? Because the actor’s guild would complain? Who knows. Somehow in France, established actors praise the work of debutants and don’t mind sharing the screen with them in supporting parts.

However, this time the lead actor may not be nominated for best newcomer at next year’s César ceremony as he’s gotten himself in a bit of a shitty mess earlier this year. Accused of manslaughter, he’s imprisoned as we speak. So, it’s quite ironic that he’s playing a kid that’s placed in a centre for young delinquents, accused of having killed his father.

MHD is a young French rapper, who even performed at Coachella last year (the first French rapper to ever do so). You may have never heard of him, but he’s one of those successful artists on streaming sites around the world, mixing trap with african sounds. He’s doing a great job in this movie. Clearly new to the acting game, he does deliver. His performance is honest and real and it’s quite brave to play a young delinquent of about 18 years old, when in fact you are a 25 year old rap star. But he’s not the only star. A lot of the fellow delinquents in the movie do an excellent job as well. Sure, their characters are stereotypical and a bit too much at times. Just like the actors who play the staff of the juvenile detention centre. But in the end it’s an intriguing movie.

It starts off as a semi-documentary about life in one of those centers, but then focuses quite fast on two young adults, hating each others’ guts at first, but then forming an alliance towards the end. Towards the end it loses its seriousness and realism and that’s a bit of a disappointment.

It sure has it flaws, but it’s worth the watch. It’s in movie theaters in France, but on Netflix anywhere else.

www.imdb.com/title/tt9095526/

 

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