26 July 2016 | dbdumonteil
The outcast is almost a taboo subject in France ;the actors are not keen on playing such demeaning parts ,and it is much to Karim Leklou 's credit to achieve such a harsh task,without overplaying and falling into the trap of self-pity ,sentiment and vulgarity;his look,longing for love ,compassion and understanding will deeply move the audience and linger long after the viewing.Actually ,the last French movie entirely focused on an outcast is Robert Bresson 's "Mouchette" (1967)(from Georges Bernanos) in which a barfly's daughter got a raw deal in her village .
But the treatment in "Coup De Chaud" is different ;we do not find here the way Bresson used to distance himself from events."Coup De Chaud' is a very accessible movie,which was not a big success in France ,because it does not deal with the hip people we usually meet in contemporary works,and mainly because WE could be part of these contemptuous human beings ,WE could laugh at the halfwit behind his back ,because WE know (and WE are proud of it) that WE are part of the society ,the chosen ones .I'm not sure that the people who are harder on the poor lad are that much happy (particularly the obnoxious woman who accuses Joseph Bousou -the name itself has something pejorative- of theft without any real evidence .Ditto for the murderer.As long as you got somebody to look down on,you are not on the bottom.
Boys get a high opinion of themselves and use the sexually repressed village idiot as a foil ;girls seem more sympathetic but you must never go on appearances.The mayor (played by the always reliable Jean - Pierre Darroussin)seems to care for the unfortunate boy,but is it for the guy's sake ,or for the sake of the election?:he tries to calm things down but to no avail:hate runs rampant in this microcosm ,in search of a scapegoat .Persistent dryness (hints at 1976) does not help.Actually the only person -outside the old lady whose rape attempt is almost unbearable- who seems to have really understood the halfwit's plight is the cop ,but it's too late .
I'm happy to read that the first two comments on the movie are positive and thus can make the viewers get off the beaten track.
Like this? Try these .....
"Mouchette" (Bresson ,1967)
"Jagdzenen Aus Bayern " (Scènes De Chasse En Bavière) (Peter Fleischmann,1968)
You can also have a look at the director's precedent work "Avant L'Aube" .