Stronger returns on the true story of Jeff Bauman, double amputee following the terrorist attacks in Boston in 2013.

Funny career of David Gordon Green. Able to move from one genre to another in the space of a project, the modest film typical indie comedy totally regressive (Delirium Express, Your highness), the man is difficult to pin down. But this is what also makes it interesting to follow since it is never really where you least expect. In the meantime his version ofHalloween (who thought that we’d see him at the head of this project ?!), he finds himself at the controls of a biopic that has, on paper, a trap. Stronger is a film that one has the impression of having seen it before even watch it. Because the american cinema loves this story, that of the type lambda erected as a hero in spite of himself due to an extraordinary event. Then, of course, when the real provides us with stories of the kind, the studios rushed into the breach and did not hesitate to continue to dig the furrow.

In this case, Stronger is not the first film to exploit the bombings in Boston since last year’s Peter Berg had been to shoot a thriller nervous and nag (Stalking in Boston). Although different, the two films work, in the background, the same figure – the citizen made in a middle-class powered heroes from ordinary to because of events that go above and beyond. In Peter Berg, this figure was embodied in the police, but, above all, in A Meng, the taxi driver taken hostage by the terrorists in their escape. On paper, it does not possess the pedigree of a hero, except by the force of things, it was forced to become. Jeff Bauman is in a similar situation. A victim of the attacks, during which he loses both his legs, it becomes in spite of himself the symbol of an entire city (Boston). Is that heroism ? Survive after a tragedy ? Become a hero because one loses both his legs ? This is a fascinating question that arises with Jeff Bauman – and thus by extension the movie itself. America has need of heroes. Someone must rise above the mass so that a whole people could rely on him, and indulge in a session of group therapy And what does it matter that it is necessary to manufacture it.Mid-teen mid-adult, Jeff Bauman is in charge of exorcising the evils of a people after the attacks in Boston. David Gordon Green filmed a body that no longer belongs. When the framework out of the hospital on his wheelchair, he was still glued to his face, relegating the rest to the out-of-field, blur. This plan hinge summarises to perfection the separation that occurred for this man, between his mind and his body. The scene is all the more strong that it is colliding two feelings contradict each other : a release (discharge) and imprisonment (a spirit trapped in a mortal coil now owned by a group of unknown people). Jake Gyllenhaal – actor, sometimes a bit cabotin – perfectly embodies a Bauman constantly to the search of points of reference, lost in the tumult of demands. The staging often just David Gordon Green and the game of Gyllenhaal arrive at the disconnect from the action, to withdraw the function of the protagonist to reduce it to the function of simple subject.

During a family meal, everyone talks about him as if he was not present. Décadré, confined to the off-field, shot from the back, it undergoes a discussion in which it should be at the forefront. This way of making passive the main attraction of the plot is a sort of short-circuiting of the genus, a slight sidestep to try to avoid serving the soup to the spectators that came to be moved by a beautiful story touching. A galley that avoids overall David Gordon Green for an hour, but which must inevitably conform to a specification with a little weathering all as soon as Jeff sinks into depression. Lost in an excess of good feelings that should delight the american public, Stronger no longer has a great thing to bring to the debate posed initially – what is a hero ? The american cinema has already done better in the past and will likely brilliantly in the near future.

Maxime Bedini

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Original title : Stronger

Production : David Gordon Green

Scenario : John Pollono, according to the work of Jeff Bauman and Bret Witter

Main actors : Jake Gyllenhaal, Tatiana Maslany, Miranda Richardson

Release Date : 7 February 2018

Duration : 1h59min

2.5final Score
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