11 January 2020 | ulicknormanowen
The four musketeers
Kad Merad has always been able to give poignant performances :he was deeply moving in Philippe Lioret's"Je Vais Bien Ne T'En Fais Pas ";always spare of gestures and words ,his commitment to his characters is sometimes extraordinary .
Here ,portraying a terminally-ill man whose last wish is to sail around the world?he rises to the occasion ;a single-handled sailor ,he would avoid his pals ' sincere but unbearable compassion.He often thinks about his childhood which was not always happy but made it a lover of the sea;now that his life is going to be unfairly interrupted,he spends much time gazing at its infinite waters .There's also some desperate humor when he buys his equipment.
Unfortunately , nobody at all in his pals is in business of supplying interest, bite,savor,humor ;although they are talented actors,notably Charles Berling ,their parts are so conventional ,so underwritten and their scenes so heavy-handed that when Merad is not on the screen,it is a waste of breath .
Had the director focussed on his principal, had he created a deeper relationship between him and his pals ,showing how trifling their problems (his restaurant,his son's bac (HSD),his ...)are compared to a man's tragedy ,a man whose life will be stolen at such an early age ,he would have made a really impressive drama dealing with mortality and ageing .
Although marred by songs (of course in English ) which sometimes drown out the characters' words .