Saturday, 13 August 2016

MIFF MOVIE REVIEW: SLACK BAY (MA LOUTE)



4/10

The quiet life of an idyllic coastal town is interrupted by the arrival of an eccentric bourgeois family. When people start to disappear one by one, an even more eccentric constable begins to investigate. He is highly incompetent and does not see, that under his very nose, the family of a cannibalistic fishermen puts annoying visitors into a stew.

When a gender confused high society offspring Billy falls in love with the local boy Ma Loute, things get increasingly complicated. Will the fishermen and the high society invaders reconcile their differences? And who will end up in a stew?

If you think the plot of SLACK BAY sounds a little strange, double it by two if you dare to see the movie. Highly improbable, illogical, confusing and carefully designed to be so, SLACK BAY is a peculiar work from a serious director Bruno Dumont and it is his attempt at comedy. What comes out is a grotesque farce and satire about the early 20th century class war. While the bourgeoisie are drinking whisky and promenading by the sea, the working class are planning to gobble them up. Literally.

In Bruno Dumont’s world the rich are shown as seen through the eyes of the fishermen. They are an alien, increasingly weird presence in the little town. Even the most down to earth, genuine character Billy, is totally confused about his/her gender and the surrounding world.

SLACK BAY could be described as a genre blender, but also a “genre breaker", but not in a good way. The film throws too many things at the viewer, and when one starts getting used to the mad pace of the film, the director feeds you more ridiculous stuff and leaves you stunned. It disturbs the rhythm and the enjoyment of the film, and takes away the credibility from the director.
One could be curious to see SLACK BAY because of the fantastic cast it has to offer. Juliette Binoche, Fabrice Luchini, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi to name a few, but their over the top performances seem forced and hard to relate to.

SLACK BAY is an oddity. For the people out there, who love original cinema, it may be a perfect gem, but for this cinemagoer it changes direction and style too many times to be enjoyable.

QUICK FACTS

SALCK BAY is set two years before DOWNTON ABBEY.


The cannibal father son due is played by real father and son Brandon and Thierry Lavieville.

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