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Michel, his wife Claire and their three little daughters Jeanne, Sarah and Iris are traveling to their cottage in Switzerland to spend summer vacation. When they stop the car, Michel goes to the toilet and a man stares at him. Soon the man introduces himself as Harold "Harry" Balestoro, who studied with Michel in high school and knows him very well. When Michel and his family go to their car, Harry parks his Mercedes Benz and introduces his fiancée Plum to the couple and invites themselves to travel to Michel's house for a drink. Later her recalls by heart a poem written by Michel and shows that he was obsessed for Michel. Harry is surprised that Michel does not write anymore and tells that he is wealthy since he has inherited his father's investments. Michel and Claire are middle-class and are still repairing their cottage by themselves. Harry and Plum stay for the night in the guest room and in the morning, Harry gives a 4x4 V6 Pajero to his new friends. They do not accept but ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Fine Graduation Piece from French Hitchcock Student
I'm surprised there aren't more comments about this film, because it is a truly excellent piece of entertainment in the cinema of menace genre. Ordinary guy Michel (Laurent Lucas), hot and bothered while taking his family on a summer vacation, meets up with Harry, a former schoolfriend (Sergi Lopez), who he doesn't remember, and who seems to be both rich and very solicitous of his welfare. When the family car breaks down, Harry buys them a new four-wheel drive (it seems that even the French have not escaped the sports utility craze). Clearly, there is something not healthy about Harry's interest but it takes a while for the real story to emerge, and there are some carefully observed and funny moments on the way.
It has been pointed out, and there are certainly signs, that Harry can be seen as the embodiment of some of Michel's darker feelings, particularly the feeling that the everyday demands of family life and work have prevented him from developing his talent as a writer. Michel also has a certain amount of resentment towards his parents, but the character of Harry grossly overreacts to Michel's `enemies' and in the end, of course it is Harry, the psychotic in all of us, who has to go.
The immediacy of the camera work puts us right in the picture, heightening the tension. There are a couple of scenes inside cars being driven on narrow mountain roads at night as scary as anything Hitchcock (obviously an influence on first-time director Dominik Moll) attempted, and the nearly 2 hours of running time passes very quickly. Great entertainment.
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