In Brazilian Portuguese the title of this movie is "Um Conto Indiano" (ie, "An Indian Tale"), probably because it ressemblance to "Un Cuento Chino", the Argentinian movie by Ricardo Darín ("Chinese Take-Away" in its English name). See more »
Seven days and so much more! (another useless comment)
A wonderful little comedy, which in its last third verges on drama.Benoit Poelvoorde gives a Cesar-calibre performance;without a single world in French Pitobash matches him every step of the way ;excellent support by Alexandra Lamy , full of joie de vivre ,desperately trying to show the aging bachelor that two hearts are better than one .
The prologue may puzzle the viewer and its explanation (a little far-fetched)is given only towards the end of the story ;an Indian immigrant ,Ajit ,has all belongings stolen ;a cantakerous hardware dealer takes him in,but only for seven days (the table he writes is good fun) ;beneath that grumping exterior, Pierre is a generous man ,full of compassion ,in fact a tormented soul who experimented tragedy in his youth ; so did his protégé,at the same early age : it is a darkly humorous comedy ,one is far from those "feel good " comedies à la "Comment J'Ai Rencontré Mon Père ".
Poelvoorde's portrayal is delightful : when he counts his screws one by one to be sure he's not been fooled , when he deals with a demanding customer who asks for gilded screws ,then for the address of a DIY ,par excellence the enemy of small shopkeepers ,he literally wins the audience over.
Ajit and Pierre do not speak the same language (and the screenplay does not take the easy way of English ,as the politically correct "Comment J'ai Rencontré
Mon Père" did ) but they do communicate ,not only with gestures ,but mainly ,day in,day out , with their eyes.Are words so important anyway? Jeanne speaks French and she makes herself clear ,but Pierre does not understand what she means at all .
That's why the female character is so important to the plot : her relation with Pierre is a dialogue of the deaf ;the man does not understand ( or does not want to understand );because his childhood was so sad (even tragic) ,he thought his life was doomed and that love and happiness were made for anyone but him ;when he meets Ajit ,he meets his double ,the young man he used to be and it's only after the Indian have left him that he will not stand his solitude anymore.
A dark comedy ,it often is ! The public services are not shown in a flattering light : the scene in the police station is overblown and provides the only really low point of the screenplay ;on the other hand, the scene in the consulate is more successful : a wretched penniless Indian immigrant, does it count for those high-ranking senior officials ,those vip ?
But Jeanne ,who takes Ajit to town and buys him cotton candy ,genially makes up for those selfish people . The movie is brimming with great scenes ,sometimes funny (the Raclette :melted cheese served with hot potatoes and cold meats) ,sometimes sad (thanks to an interpreter, Pierre and Ajit tell each other their hard past),always relevant .
This is a film worth seeing !Hats off to all the people who made it .Very nice score too.
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