28 August 2015 | GManfred
Interesting But Not Compelling
Hamilton and Markov are inseparable buddies in the Foreign Legion. They are also young enough to disobey orders and get themselves in trouble. They stray off their Afghan patrol route and, sure enough, Hamilton is seriously wounded in an ambush. Markov carries him back to their post for emergency treatment, thereby saving his life. When their enlistment is up they are mustered out of the service, and Hamilton is home free in Paris. Markov is also in Paris, but not home free - his family are unregistered aliens and are sent home to Chechnya. He and his 8 year-old son are left to shift for themselves - uneasily, as his son does not remember him or like him very much. At this point there was still a tepid hour to go, and I wished for the element of tension produced when the two were on patrol in Afghanistan.
What follows is a soap opera-type story, all of it told in one tone of voice, much like reading a letter. There are no emotional highs or lows to arrest the audience or to give us a rooting interest. And so, we watch from a detached distance and have no need to get involved. I fault the director, with whom I am unfamiliar. There were 5 audience members at my showing, and Ms. Petit will have to improve if her future audiences are to increase. The background music was grating but the tone had been set. I was thinking about the bus schedule for the trip home.