Amazing ! Invigorating ! Delightful ! This is exactly the effect produced and felt at the sight of THE OGRES ! The young director Lea Fehner, of which this is the second film after a single tienne et les autres suivront (2009) provides us with 145 minutes of bliss. She embarked with gusto on the roads, in a flamboyant theatre troupe travelling, and we in fact live behind the scenes. It has been supported in writing the screenplay and dialogues by Catherine Paillé, script writer of the recent Storm, and Brigitte Sy, a director of Talus.
THE OGRES is like a rhythmic piece of theatre, a bit foutraque to the image of the Davaï Theatre, but without interval, or dead time, because the staging energetic they won’t let us blow ! From the outset, we are seized, such as the public that attends dazzled under the big top at the show of the Cabaret Chekhov, played by the troupe. Like him, our eyes and our ears are blown away by so much beauty, liveliness and humor. There is music on the accordion and the singing, the costumes flamboyant. And then suddenly, the drama. The accident of the acrobat, badly ensured by Unfair/Marc Barbé, put the tour in danger. This trigger is going to upset the fragile balance of the troupe beautiful. The director of the troupe, Francis, appealed to a successor, Lola/Lola Duenas, a former mistress, reviving bad memories of his wife Marion. The parents of the filmmaker, François Fehner and Marion Bouvarel, who interpret them. Because Léa Fehner has grown up in this environment and is inspired to THE OGRES. The whole family (sister, child, companion) is involved, which gives the film an incomparable originality and reality, even if it is fictional characters. Léa Fehner we also spoke at a meeting in Bordeaux (Read our interview).
Master stroke, the filmmaker manages to make all the characters very well brushed of THE OGRES, without exception, very touching and endearing. As if it was sometimes on the shoulder of one, and sometimes on that of another, resulting in an incredible empathy and a full range of emotions. Thus, alongside Francis, and the company at arm’s length, while realizing a bit late that it is not the only one to do so. It sometimes takes wrong decisions to fix the problems, heals the reputation of the Davaï Theatre, it loses it also a cable (a superb scene of the door-voices in the morning). With Marion, we’re jealous and we suffer to live with a man dismissively. With Inès, it is desperate not to exist in the eyes of others and not to find its place within the couple as his parents everywhere. With Unfair, one is in survival mode, it fails to celebrate the future birth of the baby, we feel so much trouble with the memory of a past that has left us on earth. With Mona/Adèle Haenel, there is so much in life that we don’t understand those who remain stuck in the memories of the dead. With Lola, we try to forget the din of a break and we are trying to spread the love where it is likely to be found.
“THE OGRES is a wonderful movie and flamboyant that we met, literally, in joy ! A must see !”
The links that the characters have with each other are far from being idyllic, but strong and full of trust and acceptance. This, until the 2nd act of THE OGRES, which puts the spotlight on the crisis, with a narrative, metaphorical and very original. But a crisis is necessary, beneficial and regenerating, which will last to express the unsaid, to take the necessary decisions and continue to move forward.
Of course, one can only hate Francis and the psychological abuse he has made with the women in his life. We will long remember this scene very well filmed the humiliation of Marion in public as well as looks embarrassed to those who attend and their reactions deeply human. It is important to remember this scene of the engueulade to which all the members of the troupe take part. But the director victimizes not these two women for as it allows them to free themselves, each in their own way, with courage. It allows them to express themselves in the face of the power and the words derogatory of this man, to whom she offers sympathetically the possibility to change himself and understand his mistakes. In a subtle way, it makes us reflect on the remorse, but also on forgiveness.
Precisely, here, a element is particularly haul us into THE OGRES. It is the representation of men and women around two couples. First, with Francis and Marion. Him, will never recover in question, will not experience any shame to look at with desire, to his former mistress in front of his wife apathetic. Capable even of turning each situation to his advantage, ranging, for example, shout to all the adventure of an evening of his companion, leaving her not even to her, the satisfaction of having finally done it, having lived in her tower. Therefore, the humiliations of day-to-day that he makes her suffer irritated terribly. His relationship with his daughter, who would want a little recognition on the part of his father, but that it is disparaging just as much, sinks in a little more the nail. The problem, is that nothing will change from this character unsympathetic and hateful at the highest point. Person back really to his place (Unfair, a little). But most of all, his wife will return, without reason, without apology, without regret on the part of her husband. Would you tell us that she had to, she, change, assert themselves only, to have the respect it deserves ? We do not dare to believe on the part of three women writers of the OGRES.
It’s the same between Unfair and Mona. Five years of depression for Unfair and always the same passivity, the I-me-foutisme constant, even bringing Mona, pregnant up to the eyes, in situations not possible. To see it come back as a flower with a smile, after it has given birth to his son, infuriates just as much. Certainly there are slaps that are lost, we shall we say. We can then see in the writers desire to represent strong women, able to take on them and take the difficulty of this life with men cowardly, selfish and weak. Position commendable, but that we inevitably affect our feelings. These are not the qualities of the film are in question. However, we note that it cannot help but disturb.
Because what is extraordinary with THE OGRES, what are the multiple levels of reading that we offer. First a look at a couple who, if he share the same passion for theatre, sharing the daily life and the hassles of commitment and money, a true kill-the love and loss of desire. And then a look at how a child manages to find his place within a household concerned about himself. Finally, a look at the humanity of life in a community, with its joys and its sorrows. Because the key word of the film, it is the sharing ! Sharing in a mess of a passion by artists. Sharing the joy and laughter, songs and moments of complicity. The sharing of meals and the aftermath of binge drinking, assembly-disassembly-cleaning of the tent, of the road together. The sharing of intimate moments of happiness (a beautiful scene at the clinic), or sadness and distress, faithful to the motto’Happy together and for each other“. But above all sharing with the public and the transmission of a certain madness and a part of the childhood, that the actors will allow to keep.
Those are all extremely fair and we would have gladly accompanied you in the last act of the film : appeased because the abscesses were punctured, but still as deranged and passionate. Because THE OGRES, success from every point of view, is a wonderful movie and blazing that puts us literally into joy : to see absolutely!!!
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• Achievement : Lea Fehner
• Scenario : Lea Fehner, Catherine Paillé, Brigitte Sy
• Main actors : Adèle Haenel, Marc Barbé, François Fehner
• Country of origin : France
• Released : 16 march 2016
• Duration : 2h24min
• Distributor : Pyramide Distribution
• Synopsis : They go from town to town, a tent on the back, their show in the shoulder.In our lives, they bring the dream and the disorder.They are ogres, giants, they ate of the theatre and miles.But the imminent arrival of a baby and the return of a former lover will stir up wounds that were thought forgotten.Then the party begins !