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Aaltra (2004)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,215 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 28 critic

In this pitch black comedy the rivalry between two neighbors escalates into an all out war. True a maintenance error on a tractor they both end up, paralyzed, in a wheelchair. It seems they... See full summary »

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, (as Gustave K/Vern)

Writers:

, (as Gustave K/Vern)
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Title: Aaltra (2004)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
L'employé
...
L'ouvrier agricole (as Gustave K/Vern)
Michel de Gavre ...
Le paysan
Gérard Condejean ...
Isabelle Delépine ...
L'épouse
Pierre Ghenassia ...
Le patron
Fred Martin ...
Le collègue
Jan Bucquoy ...
L'amant
Pierre Carles ...
Le médecine
Céline Normand ...
Infirmière
Martine Peigné ...
Infirmière
Carine Liénard ...
Infirmière
Nathalie Carpentier ...
Infirmière
Dada Avrel ...
Le kiné
Jean-Michel Carlier ...
Ambulancier bavard
Edit

Storyline

In this pitch black comedy the rivalry between two neighbors escalates into an all out war. True a maintenance error on a tractor they both end up, paralyzed, in a wheelchair. It seems they are doomed to stay together. They no longer focus their rage on each other but on the manufacturer of the tractor, in Helsinki. So get ready for a hilarious wheelchair road movie. Written by Cult Films

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

| | | |

Release Date:

23 June 2004 (Belgium)  »

Also Known As:

Aaltra - vihaiset jalattomat miehet  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

L'Anglais à la moto: It's people like you that give fucking people in wheelchairs a bad fucking name!
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User Reviews

 
Surreally real and very funny
29 May 2005 | by (Wiltshire) – See all my reviews

To me this film epitomises the surreal underbelly of everyday life. I don't think it constitutes a "spoiler" to say that the film portrays in a strangely endearing way the boyish pigheadedness of grown men and the strength this and their devotion to their obsessions can give them. It also portrays the bleak loneliness of the island each man can become if he's not very lucky and the unlikely ways in which this loneliness can be alleviated.

Visually, I enjoyed the painterly quality of the over lighting of many scenes, which allows moments of reflection and, in the tradition of true art, encourages the viewer to see everyday objects or scenes in a new light. Again, I don't think it spoils anything as it's merely a brief passing scene, to suggest you look out for example for the tall thin man in the wheelchair at the railway station, disappearing into the light after passing one of the main protagonists in a doorway - it reminded me of the paintings of Francis Bacon among others. Even grim events can have a visual beauty, or at the least an arresting quality about them, and this is a film that has the courage to flaunt the fact and doesn't shy away from what is at first sight mundane or ugly. And as it highlights the hidden beauty of many ugly things so it also highlights the humour that can accompany the most unfortunate events. Even dreadful people have stories worth telling.

As regards the humour, it is indeed black and cynical but at the same time, and as is reinforced by the ending, it actually leaves the viewer (or this one at any rate) with a warm feeling and a sense almost of admiration for the sheer dogged tenacity and survival instinct of the two main protagonists. Moreover, the humour marinated in my mind so that next day, when trying to recount some of the scenes to friends, I found myself crying with laughter so that I was barely coherent, and seeing even more humour than I had noticed at the time.

This is not an unpolished piece of work; it is in fact skillful and deceptively subtle. A more obviously polished style would have sat uncomfortably with the spirit of the piece. It works on more than one level, rewarding anyone who can view it completely clear of any assumptions, prejudices or unnecessarily prudish criteria. It doesn't waste time being polite, it just tells it like it is. Remember you're just watching it. It's only fiction and art and you don't need to approve or disapprove. Just experience and hopefully enjoy.

I can't wait for it to be available on DVD so I can share it with my friends.


14 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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