The secret to success in life is man, child, and wife. When a former
soldier sets out to begin life anew, he finds himself living amidst
another war. When his life is threatened, he takes it lightly.
When his wife's life is threatened... The secret to success in life is
MAN, CHILD, AND WIFE.
Jacques Audiard has a habit of turning gritty social realism into Hollywood-type schlock (why hasn't he moved there yet?) Here, a trio of Tamil refugees escape Sri Lanka and land in a Paris slum (somewhat similar to the Baltimore slums in "The Wire".) Audiard does a good job of showing the intricacies of the refugee system and the inability of the various types to communicate due to language difficulties, but falls down by creating excessive melodrama and making the apartment far too nice. Docked two notches for the pathetic ending.
This is not as good as "A Prophet" - probably Audiard's best, but a lot better than the vile "Rust & Bone".
"There are not many new European movies that take on the point of view of the outsider like this, with an sir of seething apprehension."-Michael Atkinson
Extraordinary and intense 2015 French film that one the Palme d'Or. As far as I know, this is the first Western film to deal with the Sri Lankan Civil War, which lasted for over 20 years. A former Tamil fighter forms a makeshift family with a woman and child and they flee to France, where they live in a seedy and dangerous banlieue outside of Paris. Barely speaking the language, they take menial jobs, while the girl struggles to acclimate to school. Trying to escape the violence and chaos of their home country, they run into a different kind of violence in the form of the gangs who control the housing projects they live in. Director Jacques Audiard, who did "A Prophet," keeps everything tense and foreboding and the three actors, all Tamil, bring a rare authenticity to their roles. I don't think it's hyperbole to call this one of the most important and powerful European films of the decade. The supplements include an interview with Audiard and with actor Antonyhasan Jesuthasan, who was in the Tamil Tigers and a refugee and has a fascinating story. Aki Kaurismaki's "Le Havre" is a much gentler treatment of the immigration theme.
First Jacques Audiard film I've seen and relieved that it wasn't the 'typical immigrant story' with scenes of pain and suffering galore. Found it very subtle, beautifully compelling and the ending unexpected but well worth watching.
If you've seen Jacques Audiard's A Prophet, you'll know he has an uncanny knack for portraying genuine human experience. I don't think I've ever felt so in the shoes of an immigrant as here; in the same way that Prophet was the most tangible prison movie I've seen.
What also distinguishes Audiard is the grafting movie hyperbole onto his realism. So in Prophet, a prison nobody rises to become an improbably powerful godfather. Here we have the very real stresses of moving to a new country with absolutely nothing, culminate in a climax to match Léon: The Professional.
I could see if some people find this combination a bit of a cheat, but I think it's perfect. Audiard gives his characters plenty of time to reach their realization and come into their own. If by the end of their journey they prove capable of the extraordinary, they've earned it.
Another immigrant story in France by a master film maker. Jacques Audiard has made two of my MOST favorite movies - Read My Lips and A Prophet. In Dheepan there are 3 main characters who come together at a refugee camp and get fake passports as a family of father, mother and daughter. They are not related. They have survived civil war and the man had been a child soldier. The movie is about their life in France.
Audiard in the special features talks about really seeing the immigrants who sell trinkets in the street. Audiard says something like: they have lived 3 or 4 different lives to my one; I have never experienced what these people have experienced.
Another great film about refugees is Welcome.
Winner of the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015, DHEEPAN tells the story of a Tamil Tiger soldier who flees the killing fields of Sri Lanka with a woman and a little girl posing as his wife and child for refuge in France only to find another killing field in the suburban housing project where he works as a custodian and handyman. The guy who plays Dheepan, an actual refugee and former Tamil Tiger, Antonythasan Jesuthasan is amazing, as is Kalieaswari Srinivasan, who plays his wife. You will not get tired of looking at their faces. And for all who might not want to watch this film because it appears to be too effete or intellectual, the director, Jacques Audiard, had Peckinpah's STRAW DOGS in mind when he made this movie. The last act certainly delivers.
Very interesting film. I like Audiard's films including A Prophet, so thought this one would be good too. It did not disappoint. He showed the situation of Sri Lankan refugees in a Parisian suburban housing development. Audiard gives a sympathetic face to marginalized people whose stories are rarely told.The characters are multi-dimensional and not without flaws. A thoughtful film for those who are not looking for the run-of-the mill or obvious.
Thought provoking. Better than many of the higher-rated French films we've seen in the past few years.
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