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Vandal (2013)

 |  Drama  |  9 October 2013 (France)
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Like the stolen car he is driving in circles, Chérif's life is going nowhere in a hurry. When he is arrested for the umpteenth time, Chérif's exasperated mother strikes a last-chance deal ... See full summary »



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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Zinedine Benchenine ...
Chloé Lecerf ...
Emile Berling ...
Paul, l'oncle
Brigitte Sy ...
Christine, la tante
Ramzy Bedia ...
Farid, le père (as Ramzy)
Hélène, la mère
Kévin Azaïs ...
Isabelle Sadoyan ...
Corinne Masiero ...
La juge
Damien Gouy ...
Yoann Blanc ...
Professeur CAP
Yazid Benchenine ...
Ilias, le petit frère
Sophie Cattani ...
Sava Lolov ...


Like the stolen car he is driving in circles, Chérif's life is going nowhere in a hurry. When he is arrested for the umpteenth time, Chérif's exasperated mother strikes a last-chance deal with a judge to send the troubled juvenile to live quietly with his aunt and uncle and attend vocational school. Chérif's earnest attempt to go straight is sending him directly to the doldrums, until he discovers that his even straighter-laced cousin Thomas is actually part of a local gang of taggers, who roam the night bombing walls and overpasses in the shadow of a mysterious tagger whose death-defying works have made him a legend.

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9 October 2013 (France)  »

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User Reviews

22 January 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

(Screened as part of the that is underway only on screens - the TV link does not work for most of the features and the shorts, no matter what anyone else might tell you).

We have seen many, many movies about disturbed youth trying to let off some steam in various ways, and for all intents and purposes, they have all needed to be really intense in their narrations, and show an arc to their protagonists.

This one's no different.

In that it has intensity in spades, angry adults who may/may not be responsible for the waywardness of their wards too, in spades.

What this has, that makes it a better study in comparison to (some/most, depending on who you're talking to) its contemporaries, is a throbbing, fab soundtrack, and suitably real-like characters, who seem and behave in an (for lack of a better word at this time) earthy manner/fashion.

There's not much exposition going into the tale, but by the end of it all, we have a fairly decent idea on what propels our protagonist. And yes, he's more the protagonist material than the antagonist material, though the background is seeped in Grey for most of the running time.

Speaking of which, the lack of a suitably strong antagonist (I thought there was one for part of the running time, the eponymous 'one', so to speak) kinda goes against the grain of the flick, esp. since the 'anger' of the protagonist needs a decent outlet, so to speak, and though he's suitably self-destructive enough for us to see that aspect unfold, it still makes for (relatively) less-engaging viewing.

The performances match the characterization, and the casting supports it to the extent expected. This is a work from someone in control of all aspects involved in narrating the movie, and it shows in the control implicit in all of those aspects coming to fruition on the screen as we are swept into the events that unfold.

What goes against this tale, in my humble opinion, especially for seasoned movie-watchers / book-readers, is the predictability of it all. In spite of all the things it does get right, when you lay it bare, especially in hindsight, there's nothing new about any of the events you get to watch. Keeping that in mind, the fact that it is nevertheless narrated at a crisp pace, and still makes for engrossing viewing, is definitely a decent achievement.

A good watch, preferably with a like-minded audience, preferably on the big screen, and with a decent sound system.

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