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[CRITICAL] WILLY 1

Selected in the ACID Cannes film Festival 2016, WILLY 1 was presented at the Festival international du film de La Rochelle, in the presence of a quartet of young filmmakers. The twins Ludovic Boukherma and Zoran Boukherma, Marielle Gautier and Hugo P. Thomas are freely inspired by the life of Daniel Vannet (who plays Willy) met him through a documentary on illiteracy. As prevent result : we loved the movie ! A nugget of tenderness, funny, moving, and surprising.

The twins and their opposition have often inspired the film, of False Pretenses (1988) David Cronenberg at the recent Legend of Brian Helgeland. But even if Daniel Vannet has no twin, the idea of twins is a theme that the directors have desired to dig in an original way, through the lack. Fifty years ago, Willy had never asked too many questions, until the death of his brother Michel. They were together, and then it is. Willy thought that they were happy. His sudden absence will upset the balance protector in which it was maintained. Because Willy, as his father stated, is fragile.

Willy is encouraged to be more autonomous by Catherine (Noémie Lvovsky, also touching that in Rosalie Blum), its curator. He refuses to leave his parents to go in a specialized center. Determined, it attaches itself to the objectives crescendo : “At Caudebec, I will go. An apartment, I will have one. Friends, I will. And I, you fuck ! “. The film tells the story of how he goes about each of these steps. Willy is a great kid in an adult body, who speaks without a filter. Knowing hardly write, he does not know the codes of a social life in so-called “normal”. He will know for the first time the loneliness and the sadness, because Michel was his crutch, his other half, his twin. It will, therefore, confront, expect, to err, to be humiliated, to suffer. It will make the learning of life and get a place. He will learn, sometimes the hard way, to choose her real friends, to say what he thinks, to apologize also. And he will be the king of his new world.

The makers of WILLY 1ST consider to never use their hero and not just put it in the box of the dopey or the disabled. They never laugh at his endearing naivety. Their gaze is benevolent. Admittedly a little rough around the edges, Willy is very instinctive and often finds the other more “absentmindedly” than him. Never in the complaint, it is in the action and the will to achieve their goal.

“First successful implementation, Willy 1 is a nugget of tenderness funny, moving and surprising !”

By the image and the effects incredibly kitsch, one immerses himself with pleasure in the experience of Willy and the discovery of his capacity for humanity. The sets refer to the social misery and insecurity in which people live, Willy and his family. It is seen on some of the companions of Willy the damage caused by the alcohol and the emptiness of their existence. But for all that, the filmmakers have risen to the challenge not to do in the pathos and or define the film as a simple social comedy. It is, moreover, far from Me, Daniel Blake of Ken Loach, who received the Palme d’or at Cannes this year.

The vision of the soul of Michael, who continues to support Willy in parallel and to watch over him is a nice find, which reinforces this feeling of sweetness and melancholy. The film is not linear and takes the viewer by surprise on a path unimagined, to the edge of tragedy and drama. WILLY 1 oscillates between several genres and keeps the viewer on the watch. This is rare enough to be underlined. For a first work, WILLY 1 is a master stroke.

Sylvie-Noelle

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+ The festival international du film de La Rochelle

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