A portrait of two men whose lives are going down hill fast.
One (Gildor Roy) has no personal integrity and appears at first to be a successful business man. His gambling habit is finally catching up to him. As his creditors close in he turns to a local gangster named "shotgun" for a loan he just knows he cannot repay. He builds a hard shell to protect himself as he looks down on and hurts the people around him.
The second man (Emmanuel Bilodeau) is decent, imaginative and loving. He is the kind of guy who is always living from paycheck to paycheck. He meets the same gangster, "Shotgun" and is offered an opportunity to make some easy money, but knows instinctively that he will have to do terrible things for it. Bad luck starts the gradual reversal of fortune that will inevitably lead him to a desperate act.
Contrary to conventional story telling wisdom, the film makers here do not contract the events into a short period of time. The whole story is set over a period of many months. This works both for verisimilitude, for as Michel's (Bilodeau's) luck gives out we are left to ask ourselves when will he cave in to temptation. At what point will he become desperate enough to go to "shotgun" for a job. Also the Gildor Roy character juggles more and more desperately down the self destructive hole of debt and denial.
The reward to this is that when they are finally together, they recognize something in each other and their mutual recriminations have resonance. As each accuses the other of being a loser, they are both faced with their own short comings. These latter scenes in the movie are wonderful.
Roy has always been a popular personality in Quebec through his country and western singing career and television parts. He good at playing the strong brutal type with the heart of gold. In fact he does such a good job at playing the ass hole that by the middle of the film you do not expect to find redemption for his character, and it takes some work on his part to break through the wall and show a man ready to change.
Bilodeau is nobody's idea of the handsome leading man, and the film may suffer because of that. Better at supporting parts, he does a creditable job in this particular role as a funny, well intentioned loser. There are charming, funny moments throughout with his wife and daughter. The little girl and he have a wonderful chemistry on screen. Ditto for his relationship to Gildor Roy. As they warily play off each other, the two men recognize their mutual weaknesses and surprisingly, their strengths.
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