Remember that redhead-genocide video for MIA’s single ‘Born Free’? Well, this is sort-of-but-not-really the feature version. It shares the promo’s director, Romain Gavras, and gingerphobia as a driving element, but here it’s largely internalised. Rémy (Olivier Barthelemy) is your average alienated youth, Patrick (Vincent Cassel) the listless older provocateur who takes him under his wing. The red(ish) hair they share proves a useful device for stoking Rémy’s various complexes – three parts persecution to one part messiah with a good dose of closet anxiety thrown in – and they strike up a sort of vagabond ‘Fight Club’ à deux, getting in the faces of the hapless denizens of post-industrial northern France. It’s nicely photographed and Cassel and Barthelemy show willing but, facile references to Irish Republicanism notwithstanding, there’s a whiff of inconsequentiality around the film, which feels stretched at just over 80 minutes. These chumps’ day won’t come any time soon.
Cast and crew