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A tale revolving around the carefree and bon-vivant, Felix, who is content living with his boyfriend, Daniel in the town of Dieppe in Northern France. When Felix is laid off from his job, he decides to take a road trip to Marseilles to track down the father he's never met. Backpack in tow, Felix sets out walking, hitching and borrowing cars to get to the south of France. Springtime is budding, nature is at its best, and some unique characters await Felix along the dirtroads and byways of the French countryside. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
JOYFUL, JOYOUS, CELEBRATORY -- a piece of gold -- within the rainbow's reach
Journeys and the growth to self-awareness are countless: from a solitary journey such as Pauline Collins in Shirley Valentine, to a wonderful Marianne Sagebrecht making all the difference in Out of Rosenheim (aka Bagdad Cafe), to an Oscar-nominated performance from Fernanda Montenegro in Central Station.
And now this journey, by an affable, likable, vulnerable, gay, HIV +, Arab hero! WOW! The Adventures of Felix is a whirling tour de force -- like the symbol of the rainbow kite the pervades the movie. Very simply, Felix, incidentally HIV-positive, gay, of Arab origin, is a French man, who -- finding himself unemployed -- leaves his lover for five days as he undertakes a journey to find his (unknown) father.
On route he encounters a number of strangers who become, for the duration of the film, and for a limited time, part of his family: all of these meetings enrich him and give him insight into himself. These secondary characters add a depth and range to this film, fleshing it out.
This is a stunning film, thanks to a wonderful naturalistic and warm portrayal of Felix by Sami Bouajila in the title role, stunning supporting cast, a good soundtrack, and some lovely photography. And hats off to Patachou for a brilliant turn as the older woman; her scenes with Felix are well worth watching the movie for.
This is an amazing achievement: it is a realistic feel-good movie: the world and its problems do not disappear into the background. Neither is this a didactic "gay" movie with "look-at-me-I'm-making-an-important-statement" feeling -- maybe French film makers are too evolved for that (despite that execrable 'Love is Comedy').
It is a film that raises the joy of living, its sadness, its paradox. And, in the warm embrace of Felix: in his eyes, voice and face, we too can share his joy, his happiness, his dreams, his adventures.
Low-key, understated this film may be .. but see it, see it, see it. It's gold.
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