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Toothache is Ian Simpson's first full feature outing as a Film Director and succeeds in engaging and continuing to draw in the viewer throughout the film.
This comedy which is set in Paris very soon after the completion of the Eurostar, when cross channel activity was at a high. So we are treated to an ensemble of characters Anglo and Gallic; a young talented Ludovine Sagnier,a magnificent Julie Depardieu, the very passionate Englishman Oliver Millburn and the exciting and hilarious Marc Barbe. To say the casting is superb is an understatement. Ian Simpson's choice to cast the very French Marc Barbe as an American Producer in Paris is a master touch and extremely funny.
In essence Toothache centres around this bourgeois quartet and all their personal dramas whilst collectively they maintain some sort of equilibrium or facade. We have the characters displaying emotions of unrequited love,stress of a new pregnancy,failure and loss.
Through out the film Ian Simpson's ,sometimes sardonic, style pervades and his brutal clips of real down and outs in Paris may upset. There is also a social side to this film and a very real message;life's realities for this underclass and how distant it is from our Bourgeois Quartet's masquerades and petty problems.
Getting back to the comedy, of which there is so much,is enhanced by Simpson's clever camera techniques and cuts. The dialogue is brilliantly written; the combination of British humour and Gallic dead pan is a joy to watch and will leave you in hysterics. You really want this film to keep going on, it builds and builds on the humour. The four characters also combine so well...a sitcom could be written around them.
The musical score is interesting and daring and works, especially in a passionate scene on a bridge over the Seine.
If you get a chance to watch this film please do as you are in for a unexpected treat. A Cult Classic.
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