Theeo Woeste is inspector of the major crime unit in Brussels. He lives with Kathleen, and their son, Jack, 5 years. Day after day, it explores the lowest depths of the city, the ” Waste Land “. Two events will threaten its balance. On the one hand, an investigation is opened on the murder of a young congolese, found in a trash bag, on the other hand Kathleen tells him that she was expecting their child but that she does not wish to keep it. The meeting with the sister of the young victim, Aysha Tshimanga (Babetida Sadjo) then dive into a destructive spiral.
The spiral is, unfortunately, not for Leo and out of the film with the reel. The first impression in front of the WASTE LAND is a sense of confusion. Where is coming the director, Pieter Van Hees ? Is this a film about the relationships of couples, the relations father-son, on the excesses of police on a murder, or on the obsolescence of the white supremacy ? It is a little lost in the flood of information that we receive.
This mess seems voluntary, Pieter Van Hees tries to create a puzzle to keep the audience in suspense. But the pieces fit together poorly and it’s hard to find a coherence in the scenario. Despite this mess, the story becomes predictable and the end is fast emerging as a highlight. Without suspense to make you want to continue, it is hard to stay interested in the movie until the credits. These weaknesses story could have been filled by a hero endearing, that we would want to follow her, but Leo is not at all, despite the efforts of Jeremiah Reiner. One feels, at best, sympathy for the worst of the irritation at his behavior.
The staging does not improve that feeling. The film is structured like a book, with chapters corresponding to the evolution of the pregnancy of Kathleen. If the bias is attractive, it is clumsily executed. Even within chapters, it moves from one scene to another, from one moment to another, without any real cohesion. These cuts slow down the pace of the film. The dichotomy between the background, history and the shape decreases the intensity of the key moments of the film, and after a while… you get bored.
” The film is lost in the meanders of the spirit of his hero. Long and disjointed, it is difficult to follow. ”
Not everything is bad in the WASTE LAND, the atmosphere created by the photograph is very dark, is effective. The atmosphere is heavy and I found the same discomfort that I had been able to feel in front of films such as The city of lost children or Dante 01 in the face of this green world. The music reinforces the unease caused by the processing of the image by the topic. From the beginning, it was uncomfortable. Strident in scenes that are calm, happy, in scenes that are disturbing, it complements well the universe of WASTE LAND.
One of the big strengths of the film are the actors that make a performance enjoyable. Jeremie Reiner portrayed with sensitivity and finesse the character of Leo. The couple that he forms with Natali Broods immediately works. The latter is so natural that it is difficult to distinguish his character. Their relationship is well built, with a fragility shown by the difference of languages but also for their silences. Babetida Sadjo complete brilliantly the trio of head. It is a pity that WASTE LAND does not reach the level of its actors. It is almost a relief when the credits appear on the screen.
The other outputs of the 25 march 2015
As a DIVERSION, THREE, let’s GO, CINDERELLA, TRIP to CHINA, DEAR WHITE PEOPLE, WASTE LAND, etc
• Production : Pieter Van Hees
• Scenario : Pieter Van Hees
• Key players : Jeremiah Reiner, Natali Broods, Babetida Sadjo, Peter Van den Begin
• Country of origin : Belgium
• Released : march 25, 2015
• Duration : 1h37mn
• Distributor : Chrysalis Films
• Synopsis :Leo Woeste is inspector of the major crime unit in Brussels. He lives with Kathleen, and their son, Jack, 5 years. Day after day, it explores the lowest depths of the city, the ” Waste Land “. His family allows him to keep walking. But the investigation into the murder of a young congolese brings Leo to meet the sister of the victim, a woman magnetic and determined. Between rituals, fascination, and old demons, the balance of Leo seems more than ever threatened…