16 June 2002 | dbdumonteil
I'm not like everybody else;so I'm not everybody else!
This movie takes a melodrama plot,gives it a black humor cum non politically correct lines treatment,then pushes it to absolute limits:actually,one thinks of what Etienne Chatiliez could have done after "la vie est un long fleuve tranquille",hadn't he taken refuge in harmless comedies.Hélène Vincent's presence (the bourgeois woman in Chatiliez's debut) accentuates this feeling.
"Bernie" came aside as a shock, in the humdrum field of contemporary French cinema.IMHO,it's better than "pulp fiction" because the director took a lot more chances than Tarentino:no stars,shoestring budget,and a "nasty" spirit everywhere.Bernie ,a thirty years old orphan,leaves the orphanage for "life outside".This is the beginning of a wholesale massacre in which nobody will escape.It leaves nobody unscathed:neither Mickey or Donald ,nor the birds or the dogs;neither the rich,nor the poor;neither the parents,nor the children;neither the video stuff clerks,nor the florists;neither the junkies nor the dealers;neither the garbage/rubbish chutes,nor the transformers...
The last fifteen minutes with the hostage-taking are more conventional,but the director manages to concoct an almost dreamlike conclusion,in direct contrast to the rest of the story.
A story of paranoia ,a story of madness,of absurd logic,"Bernie" is all this and more.Bernie feels the society he discovers is dangerous:THEY come to bring you down,to kill you ,to throw you in the garbage chute;the enemy is definitely the OTHERS,so he launches a pre-emptive strike,by shooting everybody in sight,eating the Tweety Pies,closing the garbage chutes with sticky paper.His dream is to live in a safe world,with the parents he's found again (you should see the parents:the father,Donald ,a tramp,the mother,a prole turned bourgeois ,who called her son Mickey (sic))
No one will be immune to this aggressive Voltaire's "Candide" ,Bernie (aka "John Fitzgerald" aka "Mickey").