Put in charge of his young son, Alain leaves Belgium for Antibes to live with his sister and her husband as a family. Alain's bond with Stephanie, a killer whale trainer, grows deeper after Stephanie suffers a horrible accident.
Dheepan is a Tamil freedom fighter, a Tiger. In Sri Lanka, the Civil War is reaching its end, and defeat is near. Dheepan decides to flee, taking with him two strangers - a woman and a little girl - hoping that they will make it easier for him to claim asylum in Europe. Arriving in Paris, the 'family' moves from one temporary home to another until Dheepan finds work as the caretaker of a run-down housing block in the suburbs. He works to build a new life and a real home for his 'wife' and his 'daughter', but the daily violence he confronts quickly reopens his war wounds, and Dheepan is forced to reconnect with his warrior's instincts to protect the people he hopes will become his true family. Written by
An Engrossing, Absorbing & Reflective Cinema About Immigrant Experiences & Integration.
Winner of the prestigious Palme d'Or at 2015 Cannes Film Festival, Dheepan may not be as strong a cinema as past few recipients of the same honour but it nonetheless succeeds as an engrossing, absorbing & reflective drama that illustrates the plight of immigrants with unflinching honesty and is substantially boosted by outstanding performances from its leading cast.
Dheepan tells the story of its titular character, a former Tamil Tiger soldier who pairs with a young woman & a 9-year old girl together posing as a family in order to leave Sri Lanka and begin a new life from scratch. Upon his arrival in France, he manages to secure the job of a resident caretaker but the daily violence in the neighbourhood turns out to be another conflict zone for him.
Co-written & directed by Jacques Audiard (best known for A Prophet), Dheepan isn't as enthralling as his finest work but it is still a powerful piece of work that's completely devoted to its characters, is expertly narrated & steadily paced. However, what impressed me most was the authenticity with which it captures the language & other barriers any immigrant faces in a different country and the desperate attempts he/she makes just to blend in.
The technical aspects are finely executed. The set pieces provide a fitting setting for the drama to unfold at, Cinematography is effectively carried out with the best part saved for the final act which in itself was an unexpected turn, Editing could've applied a few more trims to the final print, music nicely compliments the whole narrative yet it's the performances from its relatively unknown cast that steals the show with the titular character being played by a former real-life LTTE soldier.
On an overall scale, Dheepan is a thoroughly engaging narrative about immigrant experiences that grabs the viewers attention from its opening moments, offers a harsh but fair look at the tough life of refugees looking for a new home in a foreign nation and packs in an interesting set of characters who are ingeniously brought to life by its committed cast. While the story unfolds at the same level for the most part, the final act simply explodes out of nowhere and is sure to leave its viewers in a shell-shocked state. Definitely recommended.
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