Michel Hazanavicius and his producers are paid a credibility in titanium due to the risk THE ARTIST and of the different rewards assigned to the film.
It was time to show another facet of their talent in dealing with a more serious subject, politics – the war in Chechnya. It therefore delivers a pure drama, there or up here, he was a director of politically incorrect comedy and a fetish of the image.
THE SEARCH wants to put in parallel two points of view. The internal conflict, and, by identification, to Carole, the spectator, on the spectacle of the war in Chechnya. It tells to this the parallel stories of a little boy in solitary exile, whose parents were murdered by Russian soldiers before his eyes. It is sought after by his sister ; and Then Kolia, committed in spite of himself in the Russian army, which provides point-of-view “objective” as the character set “the other side” of the conflict.
Finally, Bérénice Béjo performer Carole, in charge of mission for the united nations, the French, being involved more frontally into the reality of war, leads to a bout of administration to recognize the seriousness of the conflict.
What strikes one, first of all, it is the lack of power original of this story.
In the first place, Hazanavicius tries an immersion violent in the conflict by using the famous camera at the shoulder. It adopts an aesthetic that recalls the final scenes of THE SON OF MAN for their style undoubtedly realistic. A reference moved and mostly mis-used, which will be strengthened during the plan sequence ultimate warrior.
The first scene of the film shows, in a village reduced to ash, a violation committed by the military, in the case of young men, clearly troubled by the power that gives them their status in the military.
But, without more development, the story moves to the small Hadji, who must protect her little brother, but mostly himself, the violence of this war.
Here, Hazanavicius does not happen, through his actor mutique, and his destiny, to render account of the issues of the conflict, the political position of the people against the army. Everything that we see, on the screen, it is a description pessimistic accentuated by the solitude of this little boy. Hazanavivius can’t transform this individual in order.
Here comes the second point of view on the conflict, that of the young Russian, Kolia. Committed by bad luck in a Russian army, described in the screen under the influence Kubrickienne that is to say, in showing the cruelty of the statement the hard way, without any real explanation, that “we are going to make of you men, not fags”.
This seems logical, since it is important not to cause any reflection in these young men a malleable, do the cannon fodder without emotion. Except that this is exactly the same effect on us, the spectators. We swept gently by this part of the story, regularly shocked by a violence without resonance.
Probably realistic, but not sufficient to reassure them about the lack of interest previously proposed by the story of Hadji.
Another character adds to the story, the survivor of the massacre in the first scene, the sister of hadji and the mother of his little brother. It seeks to find Hadji.
A course that only adds absolutely nothing, or indicate that, in fact, the tearing up of families in a time of war, it is not easy. In these crossed destinies seems scripted, which is used only as the engine of the plot.
Hazanavicius sinking into the unbearable first part of the doors open, without taking any more recoil that M6 and his “Forbidden Zone”, without proposing a counterpoint to a result, well-reasoned and relevant.
There is, as often in this kind of film, that the writers are inspired by their experience and their culture to create all the parts, with the help of one or two aboriginal consultants, a story supposed to reflect the state of a country.
In reality, this transpires simply complacency and pathos and opportunistic.
In fact, THE SEARCH remains in this vision of the inside of the conflict, on the registry of the drama, commercial, abuse of pathos, and drowns the viewer in this conflict without personality :
What about the motivations of each camp ?
Abuses and their implications ?
The demographic impact of this kind of conflict ? Etc.
Of course, one could argue thatHazanavicius confidence in our culture and our intelligence to fill in the holes of his scenario : these issues are addressed, but without enough depth to cause something other than a pity disinterested.
This seems to me a shame, even if it may be a whole other movie thatHazanavicius wants to show us, as might the let think the second part of the film.
“THE SEARCH is divided into two parts totally uneven : one, missed, and without power of film, focusing on the seriousness of the conflict the Chechens / Russians. The other is focusing on a party more intimate, with Bérénice Béjo imperial.”
The story of Carole, gradually introduced, traced a bit the level.
It is very much linked to the interpretation of unwavering Bérénice Béjo, in this role, she, or it receives more or less voluntarily to her home the little Hadji.
This second part allows you to show a facet much more intimate since it is the taming of the cultural and sentimental, paired with the loneliness.
This child and this woman are separated by a conflict much bigger than them, but also culturally, as come continually reminded the translator and the person in charge of the refugee centre (Annette Bening, any).
The war and the parallel stories become the backdrop of “luxury”, which come in spite of everything to properly feed the discourse evident in the history between Hadji and Carole, communicate something about the absence and the loss of landmarks, through these two beings opposite.
It should be recognized thatHazanavicius knows how to film his wife, without complacency, without the magnifier. The role that he has written is very right in his description of a character, in the absence of having a real importance of a more political standpoint.
This role allows Béjo to show a range of emotions very wide, all very subtle, in anger as in sorrow. She deserves a second prize of interpretation for this performance.
In short, THE SEARCH is full of ambition. Hazanavicius, as usual, appropriates a subject of “old-fashioned” and tries to transcend it by a cinema drama, this time. Praiseworthy Intention but poorly illustrated.
His film is only for the character interpreted by Bérénice Béjo, perfect.
• Realization : michel Hazanavicius
• Screenplay : Michel Hazanavicius
• Main actors : Bérénice Bejo, Annette Bening, Abdul Khalim Mamutsiev
• Country of origin : France
• Released : November 26, 2014
• Duration : 2h40mn
• Distributor : Warner Bros. France
• Synopsis :