|Index||5 reviews in total|
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.
This is a very good comedy, I think problem with rating is that too many people do not get the jokes. You laugh a lot in the movie. Never watched in English, but I dunno how could they translate over half of jokes, so might not be funny for someone who don't speak French. The story is about a couple, that go on holidays where they had honeymoon to make more bind in couple. (This is a fake island, city don't exist in real, it's just for movie). They are then stuck in a civil war. The place of honeymoon don't seems that good as 13y ago. There are lot of unmistunstanding of them of what happen before they realize, then they try to escape, their holiday are spoiled by civil war. Movie don't focus on war but on tourists stuck in it.
A group of french tourists are surrended by some kind of a balkanic war... They have to live this together. The two heroes are a 13 years old couple. Gérard Jugnot cheated on Victoria Abril (can you imagine that ?), the war experience will help to strengthen their love (pfff...). The hotel manager (Jean-Pierre Cassel) is gay and tries to hide his love affair with a bad singer. Valérie Lemercier, a secretary, tries to hide her whole life failure. etc., etc. : all these people will have to deal with fear and tensions... Some will suddenly become very brave, some not... That part is badly written, but the plot idea is quite good : balkanic wars happened a few miles from the western europe, in the place where people uses to go to holidays... There was something good to do with that. The movie is not absolutely bad. Most actors are good, there is a few poetic or clever scenes and the conclusion (don't understand nothing to this war, only thing to do is to escape) is terrible but interesting.
After his successful `Une époque formidable', a comedy about homeless people, Gérard Jugnot came back with another, even more ambitious, comedy, about the Balkanic wars (though the place is left unnamed). A group of French tourists, vacationing in a Mediterranean island, is caught in the middle of a war they didn't even know about. In a few hours, they learn to set aside their former troubles (pending divorce, loneliness, ageing) so that they can cope with important matters, like avoiding to get killed or fishing corpses in a swimming pool. While the movie is not entirely satisfying (every character learns the usual lesson about what's really important in life, and the war they're in is too theoretical to be convincing), it explores a few new themes, like our (Western Europeans) ambiguous feelings about the Yugoslavian tragedies (and foreign tragedies in general), or the idea that we (Western Europeans) tend to live in a bubble that's bound to explode. Jugnot has certainly to be credited for taking comedy out of its usual tracks.
This film was most extraordinary for the performances, the ironic and often universal humor. The camera and the technical aspects of the film were indie grade and had some need for improvement. As a whole the film is well worth the hunt.
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