TORIL begins on a sequence of silent, followed by a second and then a third. Almost ten minutes of film, and nobody has yet said a word. Yet the stakes of the characters are perfectly legible and is not wolves in the agricultural sector in camargue. When the actors finally take the floor, directed by Laurent Teyssier, very elegant, bell suddenly. Nothing to blame the actors, Bernard Blancan or Tim Seyfi are fair, you could also think in retrospect that the great Vincent Rottiers carries the film. This is not a question of dialogues. Objectively, not all sliders are good for a first movie. But then from where this impression comes from out-of-key with the scenes dialoguées ?

There are two films in TORIL , and maybe two “desires” of different movie. On one side, a film noir that spawn with the drug deal at a small scale, the other a social drama against the backdrop of a mortgage and suicides of farmers. At the intersection, there’s Philippe’s (Vincent Rottiers), who is sinking in the crime to save the business of his father. Only to bring these two worlds in parallel, once the first stake laid down on the table, the authors have multiplied the “accidents”. It’s not as much of fortuitous encounters that allow the time to recycle characters and artificially maintain the fabric of the family. These dialogues exhibition dilute, then the accumulated tension in the scenes silent with strong images. More insidiously, these scenes dialoguées challenge the narrative on rails quite agreed, throwing the movie to end disappointing. Although starting out as a film noir ambitious, TORIL ends up as a social drama of more. What is it that is lost in the meantime ?

Philippe is already, before the beginning of the film, a drug dealer. Giving himself the noble goal of saving the family farm, he may have the opportunity to redeem themselves or, on the contrary fall in with relish in the great crime (the image of a Walter White in Breaking Bad). In its premises, TORIL meant to be a form of magnitude. It is expected that the characters live in something bigger, that this is a tragic fate or a redemption saving.

Advancing by “accidents” in a row, TORIL departs from the film noir and the ambition of a “big destiny” to reach the lands delineated in the social drama. As the race camarguaise, which opens the film, the drug trafficking is a decoration, an accessory, which hides the desire to give the characters in their place. However, “social” doesn’t necessarily mean “deterministic”. This translation a little easy of sociology (the characters are the product of social classes, defined by institutions that exceed) keep the characters out of the boxes, which were assigned at the beginning of the film. Neither Philippe nor his father, nor any character does transform. The inevitable caught up with them, whatever were their efforts.

“We feel that this open end is intended to show the extent of a drama that should resonate in us. Except that in wanting at all costs to stay down-to-earth, the film has no chance to take off”

As Divine, came out a little earlier, or with Me, Daniel Blake (26 October 2016), TORIL raises the question of fatalism at work in the film says social. This bias has nothing to do with the question of verisimilitude, or realism, since the Divine leans very clearly towards the bombastic. We can not do more to highlight the dramatic aspect to explain this trend, since a terrible event may very well lead the characters to question themselves, therefore subject to change. The end of TORIL flies to his protagonist this possibility. The question would be trivial if it was not directly related to the engagement of the viewer in a story. Since the protagonist has learned nothing, we say that we no longer. We go out of the room with the feeling that, in spite of all this turmoil, the film was static. It ends (almost) as he starts and seems to lack a true third act.

Certainly Philippe (Vincent Rottiers) has a last look to the flames that suggests that a doubt assails. This hint gives the viewer the responsibility to imagine the third act. This idea only works half because the plot will never truly managed to bring out a theme clear on that bounce in your imagination. Alternating visual scenes of a thriller with scenes dialoguées of a social drama, Laurent Teyssier tries more than it succeeds to transmit his ambition. We feel that this open end is intended to show the extent of a drama that should resonate in us. Except that in wanting at all costs to stay down-to-earth, the film has no chance to take off. First film objectively successful in technical terms, TORIL leaves the impression of not to be gone at the end of its possibilities.

Thomas Coispel

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