Like millions of other couples, Mounir and Murielle fall in love. Like millions of other couples, Mounir and Murielle have children. But unlike them, they accept to give up their autonomy ...
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A divorced mother of two boys reaching adulthood decides to sell their house, find love and get on with her life away from her husband and sons; a decision that will lead to an escalating fraternal dispute.
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Marie is a young woman with a troubled past. Her passion is painting, but she never had any formal training. Living in the South of France, she takes whatever work she can get to make ends ... See full summary »
Like millions of other couples, Mounir and Murielle fall in love. Like millions of other couples, Mounir and Murielle have children. But unlike them, they accept to give up their autonomy by agreeing to live with Mounir's well off adoptive father, Doctor André Pinget. On the material level, all is well. But a house is not a home, and Murielle feels more and more stifled...Written by
The film is directly inspired by the case of Geneviève Lhermitte, a Belgian woman who, in 2008, brutally murdered her five children.
What in the world drove this hitherto model mother to such a barbarous act... is the anguished question asked by writer-director Joachim Lafosse (also Belgian) in this intense if somewhat restrained drama. A question all the harder to answer when the deplorable "heroine" of this family tragedy was at a loss, as she put it, "to understand what has happened, for I still haven't understood. I acted the opposite way to what I thought."
Lafosse cannot provide THE answer, it goes without saying. How could he since the real-life murderess in person proved unable to understand herself? But he tries hard to come as close to the truth as possible. In any case, he refuses to condemn her. Instead, he describes thoroughly all the stages of the way of the cross she undergoes before committing her irreversible act.
Co-written with Matthieu Raynaert and Jacques Audiard's favorite screenwriter Thomas Bidegain, "A perdre la raison" indeed follows the various developments of the affair very realistically even if the names and a few details have been changed (after all this is a fiction work, not a documentary) : Geneviève has become Murielle and her husband is named Mounir instead of Bouchaib. Plus, the couple in the fiction has four children whereas they had five in the real situation. As for their evil genius, he is not Dr. Michel Schaar any longer, but Dr. André Pinget. Basically however, all the seeds of the tragedy sown in real life are present in the fiction and in it too the wild wind cannot but be reaped: once established the toxic relationships between Murielle (who craves the intimacy of a love nest), Mounir (whose gratefulness to his foster father lets him invade it) and André (who gives the couple everything but controls their lives from A to Z), the infernal machine is activated and – a constant in classic tragedy – nothing can stop it.
Such an approach will naturally be effective only if it rests on strong acting performances, which is fortunately the case here. Emilie Dequenne ("Rosetta", "La fille du RER") is deeply moving as Murielle, this Mother Courage - Mater Dolorosa turned Medea, while Tahar Rahim ("Un prophète", "Grand Central") translates to perfection Mounir's affectionate but weak temperament. As for Niels Arestrup ("Un prophète", "Diplomatie"), the formidable actor proves more menacing and terrifying than ever in the role of the couple's Nemesis hiding beneath a friendly exterior.
Quite a gripping work, "A perdre la raison" is a film experience you will find hard to forget. Both a cold analysis of a tragic news event and the sympathetic portrait of a desperate woman, it is one of the most impressive movies shown in 2012.
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