Time Out says
Wed Dec 21 2005A high-concept suspense picture set in France but centred on a young Georgian immigrant, this is very potent if ultimately rather hollow film-making: it gets the pulse racing but offers little to chew on besides your fingernails. Fresh-faced Sébastien (Georges Bebluani) gets wind of a mysterious get-rich-quick scheme while doing repairs for a junky who’s living on borrowed time. Realising his odds of getting paid are slim, he pockets the train ticket and hotel reservation that seem to offer money for nothing and sets off to Paris, then into the woods…
What he finds there is a genuine shock, a horror of man-made behaviour to rival the supernatural shenanigans of the Blair Witch and rendered all the more grim for being executed in the name of fun (not that anyone involved wears a smile). The ordeal to which Sébastien finds himself committed unfolds in scenes of gripping animalistic compulsion whose tension increases exponentially… before being allowed to dribble away in a plodding, schematic third act that feels like a half-hearted retread of Wong Kar-Wai’s ‘Days of Being Wild’.
Director Géla Babluani (brother of the lead and son of established Georgian director Temur Babluani) offers some striking black-and-white compositions whose stark contrasts echo the jarring mismatch between Sébastien’s naive beauty and the weathered countenances of those around him. Hard to tell, though, whether the film’s violence is emblematic of a new borderless Europe where everyone looks out for number one, or simply reflects filmmakers’ love for guns.
Fri Jan 6, 2006