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This Gérard Jugnot vehicle attests of his own approach of French comedy: to take a serious theme and move it in the domain of the comedy. In his previous effort, "une Epoque Formidable" (1991), he had been interested by homeless people whom he introduced, with humor as deeply united and resourceful. In this "Casque Bleu" (1994), he makes a bunch of tourists confront with a regiment of soldiers who took possession of their hotel.
In spite of his awkward directing, there's an evident will from Jugnot to film his contemporary peers' customs and manners and his perception doesn't lack of insight and sharpness. The image he gives of the tourist on holiday in a country in prey to social turmoil rings true either it is in the beginning of the movie when he and wife, Victoria Abril are in the hotel before the drama or when their van tries to make its way to the airport and they are surrounded by sorrow and misery.
"Casque Bleu" is supposed to be a laugh-filled comedy but the problem is that we don't laugh a lot. Jugnot put aside the drawbacks from his previous opus, notably this somewhat nagging vulgarity but apart some delightful gags and a true image of the tourist, virtually all the actors act cardboard characters like Valérie Lemercier, a former secretary full of hang-ups. Furthermore there's a brutal change of tone when the army besieges the hotel and Jugnot has trouble to find reliable comical situations or dialogs and the movie is a little marred by an end which takes the easy way.
Jugnot's formula (dramatic topic/comic treatment) proved itself in "une Epoque Formidable". Here, it didn't really work. Apart from the true perception of the tourist, "Casque Bleu" has little to recommend in store. Try "une Epoque Formidable" instead.
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