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[CRITICAL] the GREEN ROOM

A pitch is quite simple, the director Jeremy Saulnier is trying to pull an exercise in setting the scene around the constraint of the camera. Witnesses in spite of themselves settlement of account after one of their concerts, the members of the punk band Ain’t right find themselves trapped by the gang of neo-nazis who hold the show room. On the bottom, we quickly realize that the director isn’t much to say, above all, he wants to have fun, and we with (by way of the dread and the suspense). Yet, beyond the simple hybridization potential between a Panic Room (David Fincher) and Halloween (John Carpenter), the scenario touches on a contradiction that it is a shame not to have more dug out. In the introduction, which introduces us to the members of the group, one grasps that they put aside their galleys of money to dedicate themselves entirely to their music. All of them are so little or bow the variations fades to a Kurt Cobain or a James Dean at mohawk. In addition they claim to be precisely a form of purity in this way of life and thought, beyond appearances and stereotypes of the current. As said by one of their songs : “wear a crest does not make you a punk“. They speak of so casually and indulge in this phantasmagorical image of “live intensely, die young.” Their posture no future is on the paper is entirely consistent with the spirit of punk.

Except that, of course, in view of the imminence of an execution likely by a small group of neo-nazi, no one wants to die. The choice of object to the punks of the neo-nazis is rather ingenious. The mini-totalitarian State set up by Patrick Stewart is based on the unrelenting fascination with the order, the members found their reason to be giving death, or dying for the “cause”. The staging of Jeremy Saulnier dehumanizes totally neo-nazis, not giving any explanation in social or psychological at this drift xenophobic and bloodthirsty in the middle of America. They are bad, they bring Death. By extension, they could very well be replaced by killer robots or zombies. Their death to them we are nothing. Worse, it pleases us.

This mechanism of empathy unilateral for the group works very well during the first half of the film but fails to maintain interest beyond. It was, of course, become concerned by the fate of the heroes (will they survive ?) but the film then follows a more remote, while, paradoxically, the action accelerates. As the director has not dug the contradiction between the spirit no future punk and the imminence of death, the rest of the film works on auto-pilot like any survival.

This trivialization of the subject refers to a scene very generic. If we could raise it at the beginning of the article the films Panic Room and Halloween, the film by Jeremy Saulnier comes in in absolutely not at the ankle of these references in terms of pure staging. Neither the space nor the point of view are questioned. As a consequence, the director proposes a cutting very classic, alternating between close-ups and plans size, served by a mounting that is restricted to the necessary, (except a soaring lyrical refreshing via a succession of slow-motion).

“Thriller effective, GREEN ROOM fails in a choice of staging too warm.”

It would have been interesting to push the classicism until the end. Plans fixed, the values of plan wider would have given the film a coldness cynical to the image of the evil nazi played by Patrick Stewart. The Death would then appeared in all its unspeakable and unjustifiable horror, taking in the absence of the romantic ideal of musicians punks who wanted to “die young”.

In the last part of the film, the survivors manage to take over in the belief that it is a game. Such a failover would have been a perfect opportunity to suddenly change direction, from a cold cynic with a happy mess of gore effects (think of the end of Django Unchained for the effect of paint-ball). Jeremy Saulnier has preferred to unify the tone of the film via a form that is highly expected of sober realism. The result is a fun show, but all in all warm.

There is no desire here to spit on an entertaining movie, a good B-series that look between friends or with his girlfriend to squeeze her in his arms at the time of the splash of hemoglobin. The intention is rather to understand why a good movie had the potential to be a great film. Because without moving forward or on the theme (punks no future faced with the materiality of death), or a reinvention of the codes of the genres of survival , or thriller, or reflecting on the meaning of its staging. The GREEN ROOM is becoming the object allegedly underground so that it is a pure product main stream. During the viewing the GREEN ROOM is a hallucinogen that is effective, but it leaves the room with the impression of having an empty mind, having been cheated and abused merchandise, not having been transformed by the film.

All GREEN ROOM is a pleasure to see, as you will forget quickly.

Thomas Coispel

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INFORMATION

Original title : the Green Room

Realization : Jeremy Saulnier

Screenplay : Jeremy Saulnier

Main actors : Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Patrick Stewart

Country of origin : USA

Output : 27/04/16

Duration : 1h36

Distributor : The Jokers / BAC Films

Synopsis : A group of musicians punks find themselves trapped after one of their concerts.
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