Didier, 39, an unemployed artist, depressive and hypochondriac, is persuaded he is going to die within one or two months because of the asbestos contained in his radiator. That's why he ... See full summary »

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Didier Toupy ...
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Didier, 39, an unemployed artist, depressive and hypochondriac, is persuaded he is going to die within one or two months because of the asbestos contained in his radiator. That's why he decides, as a testament destined to his retired father, to have himself filmed in the places he and his parents used to go to for their Sunday escapades when he was a kid. But, after leaving Bastogne, he hears on the radio that Marc Dutroux, the pedophile-torturer-murderer has just escaped the police forces. Totally upset, Didier decides to fork off to Grâce-Hologne, a little village close to Liège, to protect a potential victim of Dutroux... Written by Guy Bellinger

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September 1999 (Belgium)  »

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Dedicated to Joseph Lanners, Bouli Lanners'father. See more »

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Pathetic! Pathetic! Pathetic!
12 March 2007 | by (Montigny-lès-Metz, France) – See all my reviews

Pathetic, what other qualifying adjective could describe better "Travellincks", Belgian comedian Bouli Lanners' first film?

Everything in this short very cheaply made "road movie to nowhere", is indeed pathetic.

Didier, the "hero", for one thing: a thirty-nine-year-old unemployed, unprepossessing, feeble, anxious no hoper who dislikes new things. A confirmed hypochondriac, he is persuaded he is going to die within two months for having opened an electric heater containing asbestos. Pathetic!

The situation Didier finds himself in is also far from glorious: having decided to have himself filmed during a trip on the roads of his childhood, the camera will bring us from one uninteresting place to the other, from the Liege region to Hainaut to the Ardennes and back. A small-time "odyssey" filmed in black and white super 8 blown up in appalling grainy 35 mm. Pathetic!

And when Didier learns on the radio that Marc Dutroux, the dangerous pedophile, has just escaped, causing him to abruptly change his course with a view to defending Gino Russo, the father of one of Dutroux's victims, he of course does not turn into a hero: far from that. Keeping watch outside the wrong house, he prepares to intercept the arch criminal with a flash can that has passed its expiry date! And it goes without saying Dutroux will be recaptured without his participation. Pathetic!

Belgian (just like Italian) directors have a gift for capturing mediocrity without being mediocre themselves. "Travellinckx" is akin to such gems as "C'est arrivé près de chez vous" (in less gory) or "Les convoyeurs attendent". Lanners, Belvaux, Marriage and others manage to make the monsters or the freaks they present pathetic in both senses of the term, both useless and engaging. In this case, Bouli Lanners is well assisted by Didier Toupy, a very convincing no-good, and by the beautiful, genuinely nostalgic music composed by Jarby McCoy. Both help "Travellincks" never to fall into caricature.


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