As the elections draw near ,candidate Martial Perrin and his party , the "independent progressive conservatives ",are in the middle of their campaign.Unfortunately ,a gangster has just escaped from jail and he has a score to settle with the politician .A coward,he asks his cousin ,Gilbert,who is his spitting image ,to replace him in the meetings and the TV face to face debate which is to take place soon.But Gilbert knows nothing about the political waffle .Written by
Poiret and Serrault were a comic team whose best movie has remained overlooked : "Assassins Et Voleurs" is really a gem ,directed by Sacha Guitry whose shadow hangs on this one,made by Pierre Tchernia ,a TV host who made a handful of films ;the screenplay was written by Poiret and whilst it's occasionally funny ,it's sometimes heavy-handed .Satire may be Poiret's wish ,but it's Guitry's reality.The trick of the double was also treated by the latter ("La Vie D'Un Honnête Homme" ),but Serrault's performance does not compare favorably with Michel Simon's .
Half of the movies is pretty mediocre stuff: a gangster story, an absolutely infuriating scene of S/M ,complete with leather and boots,Curd Jurgens-guest star whose part is pointless- and his minion breaking into an unbearable version of the German carol "O Tannenbaum "(o christmas tree) ,and other filler.
Consequently,the real meat here lies in the "political" scenes which
seem her almost prophetic;the face-to-face TV debate partly saves the movie , a marvelously precise politicians' waffle parody;the name of the hero's party is also a good oxymoron " Les Conservateurs Independants Progressistes " ( = independent progressive conservatives !);the politician involved in shady affairs with bad company is in 2018 perhaps more relevant than ever.....
Too bad Poiret did not concentrate on the political issues :we would have had a really good comedy :he has only half done the work.
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