Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Cannes 2006 - La Raison Du Plus Faible

Another film in the main competition at Cannes and, based on what I've seen so far, a real contender (written and directed by Lucas Belvaux).

From a writing point of view the real interest is how the script makes use of genre conventions in a very non-genre film. In fact, it starts as a study in small-town Belgian boredom - which promises to make for a very long two hours.

But then the heist story kicks in. Completely convincing, and without the bother about the mechanics of the job that so many mainstream heist films get caught up in. This film is all about character - four men who feel, for very different reasons, marginalised by society. The pacing is great and you could feel the whole audience sitting up in their seats wanting to know what was going to happen next.

I think writing experts can sometimes go overboard on the over-riding importance of genre. But this film showed how tried and trusted methods of storytelling can, along with properly motivated characters and an interesting context, give any life to even the most art-house of films.

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