11 May 2005 | dbdumonteil
Historically,the first French commercial movie dealing with the colonial war.
Claude Berri became famous worldwide with "Jean de Florette" and his remake of Pagnol's "Manon des sources" but his career had begun long before,in the early sixties when he was lucky to direct the great Michel Simon in "le vieil homme et l'infant" (an old man and a Jewish child during WW2).
"Le pistonné" is no masterpiece but it broke a taboo:never before,a commercial movie had dealt with the colonial war.Some would say there had been Jean-Luc Godard's "le petit soldat" ,but it was reserved for intellectuals and besides,it did not take place in North Africa.Claude Berri was virtually the first and the true forerunner of Yves Boisset ("RAS",1973) and René Vautier ("avoir 20 ans dans les Aurès",1971).
It's the story of a private,who does not feel like going to war ,not at all.But duty calls.To avoid it,he tries to get somebody to pull strings for him(that's what the title means).But alas,it will not work.
Guy Bedos gives a fine performance as the squaddie ,and he is so good we forget he's actually too old for the part.He's given strong support by Georges Géret as the warrant officer,a grumpy naive man to whom he makes believe he can bring Brigitte Bardot (no less) into the barracks .
The second part deals with the war itself (actually a guerrilla war)and although it is mainly a comedy,one of the last pictures which shows a maimed soldier who bursts out laughing nervously leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.