A young film director called Francois wants to make an anti-drugs movie but can't find a producer. When he does it turns out the guy's a heroin dealer. There's the makings of a very cynical black comedy here but Philippe Garrel doesn't really do comedy. What he does is irony so you may still find yourself sitting with something of a grin on your face for much of "Wild Innocence". As a film about a slightly egotistical, if still deeply sincere, young filmmaker there is almost an element of self-parody here and you feel this was a simple, easy film for Garrel to make.
It's visually gorgeous; the great Raoul Coutard photographed it luminously in black and white, (it was to be his last film), and there's a nice homage to the New Wave in the casting of Michel Subor as the drug-dealing producer. As the director Mehdi Belhaj Kacem is virtually never off the screen. I got the impression he wasn't really acting but simply 'standing in' for Garrel and it's interesting to note that this is only one of three times he has appeared on screen, while Jullia Faure as the young actress he casts in his film, "Wild Innocence", is pretty vacuous and just as Garrel doesn't do comedy, neither does he do thrills; the elements of a thriller are here but they just don't lead anywhere.
Ultimately Garrel gives in and makes his film the film Francois wants to make so that "Wild Innocence" becomes "Wild Innocence". This felt to me something of a cop-out just as the drugs Francois is forced to deal in finally infest his set; it's certainly something you can see coming. Perhaps, of course, this was meant to be the real black joke but I found it too predictable in a film that was self-consciously clever rather than likable or simply admirable and at over two hours it is definitely overlong.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this