Thursday, June 19, 2008

99 Francs {The Movie for the Not Easily Offended}

"99 Francs" is another amazing hight of the French movie industry and strikes with the unusually high levels of sarcasm, irony, dark humor, grotesque and class, which only can be achieved in that country and none other.

Octave Parango (Jean Drujardin) is a creative genius, eccentric richman, perverse junkie and a sex addict, who somehow strengely enough is the king of advertisement in France. This doesn't sound so shocking now, does it? Reality is an irrelevent term in his vocabulary, since the light motive that defies his existence is hedonism, which can be rarely found in the wide circles of today's society. Octave and his entourage engage into a careless frenzy of drugs, women and money. He happens tofall down to Earth after his girlfriend Sophie (Vahina Giocante) announces her pregnancy and from here his life and relationship crash and burn. Sophie leaves him after a very inadequate reaction from his side and he almost ends up in a morgue from an overdose. in his searches for a replacement he finds the prostitute and aspiring actress Tamara (Elisa Tovati), who later is involved in his last project. His career is also under question, when he fails to meet the expectations of the big firm for yoghurt "Madone" and present a decent idea for the campaign for their new product "Starlight".

Being intentionally chaotic, the viewer can sometimes finds himself into teh logic as the movie seperates in two different paths, leading to two polar alternative ending with no conclusive on which one is the real one. The viewer also has no time to deliberate, since is preoccupied with the massive amount of raw craetivity slapped in his face with visual effects and tongue-in-cheek dialogue, whioch grows to blunt and cynical. This movie is a bomb for the senses and challenges your modest ideas of what it means to be rich and successful, showing a crumbling man, who quite knows what he does to himself and yet takes the bullet train to destination hell on earth. You think media people care about consumers. Nope. They simply want to create a mindless slave army to march into stores and buy the chosen products.

Of course under creativity and innovations I really mean the raw edge of the movie, exploiting nudity, obscene body functions, hallucinations, sex, exhibitionism, drugs and near the ending the director Jaun Kounen takes this one step further with an abominable alternative advertisement of "Starlight".

Movies like "99 Francs" are the reason, why I watch movies in the first place, hoping that such rare gems will make it through. I must add that judging by the US ratings, this particular movie is uncomprehensible by the American mentality and is more suited for the European understanding and view of society and life. I find this particularly sad, because "99 Francs" tends to put under the spotlight raw life in transgression without all it's glamour and cold shine. It takes a lot of bravery to shoot this movie and still it's a love it or hate it relationship with it. Although I recommend this movie to everyone, willing to experiement, I would like to advise people with weak nerves to simply pass on this one.

Here is the trailer to get a sample of what I am talking about. I only found the Franch version sadly:


Areeya said...


daydream said...

Thank you very much! I hope you enjoy it, if you watch it.

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