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Hafid F. Benamar
El Paris, a town located somewhere uncertain, but in our time. Quasimodo is hunchbacked, bald, deaf. He takes size 47 in shoes and is contented. However, 20 years ago, his destiny was stolen from him: his parents, finding him too ugly, entrusted him to the fundamentalist arch-deacon of the town, Frollo and had him replaced by a Cuban girl, Esméralda. Now terror reigns in El Paris: a serial killer is lurking, 18 women have been killed. The head of police, Phoebus, erotomaniac and incompetent, leads the investigation in his beautiful, shiny 4-wheel drive. Quasimodo is the prime suspect, although he is innocent. Frollo has only one aim: to find out the truth (or is he?). Esméralda has only one aim: to compensate Quasimodo. Quasimodo has only one aim: to ring the bells on time. Phoebus has only one aim: to polish his car.Written by
L.H. Wong <firstname.lastname@example.org>
QUASIMODO, a very free version of THE NOTREDAME HUNCHBACK tries to be black comedy, and if it not succeeds is mostly because it uses stupidity of some characters to generate laughs. The story is particularly poignant (and a little racist too). Due to his ugliness (and bad luck), the son of the Paris governor is given his rich family, to avoid scandal, to a very fundamentalist priest. To replace him, they kidnap a nice Cuban girl, who grows up as a rich daughter of the family. Fifteen years later, a psycho is killing prostitutes, and a sub-normal chief of police, is making absurd assumptions on the killer.
Due to unexpected circumstances, the now 20 years old girl (whose real name is ESMERALDA but the rich family call AGNES) finds out that QUASIMODO is the real sibling from the family and tries to repair the damage, but creates a situation were the chief of police ends blaming everything on the hunchback.
On the other hand there is the priest (Richard Berry), a sin obsessed masochistic, who seems to be the only person who cares and protect the poor deformed guy.
If you are looking for a Disney moralizing tale, look elsewhere. The main characters are not likable at all; and the main one is not really very normal or intelligent either. Even when he declares his love to AGNES / ESMERALDA is just because SHE IS PRETTY but that is. This movie has a very dark sense of humor (the beginning is hilarious) but sadly is replaced to many times for cheap slapstick or mere unfunny jokes or monologues. It seems that the director was not sure what type of audience was targeting and makes a complete loss of good actors like Berry, who creates a complex character as the killer priest.
The movie was a promising directing debut by PATRIC TIMSIT (also Quasimodo), but is far from a good or even really funny movie.
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