Comedy films

Mandible Criticism – a bizarre giant fly comedy running out of sugar | Comedy movies


In the wild old days of the film festival circuit, directors, writers and devotees loved to end each day with drunken chats about the films they had seen. They would say what they liked and what they didn’t like, and the things they would have done better if that was their story to tell. Every once in a while, by the time the third bottle was out, they would brainstorm some silly ideas: the kind of silly, joking vanity that sounds good at 1 a.m. and not so good the next morning when the hangover starts. This culture is clearly absent from the masked and distanced Venice this year. But incredibly, it seems like one of those wild notions has now fled the bar, taken shape, and sprouted legs. And wings.

At just over an hour, Mandibles is an exhilarating and exuberant tequila dream of a movie, written and directed by Quentin Dupieux, whose Superior Deerskin premiered at Cannes last year. They are Manu and Jean-Gab (Grégoire Ludig and David Marsais), two morons who steal a Mercedes bucket to make a mysterious – and surely illegal – race along the coast. On the way, they are disturbed by a noise in the trunk of the car. “Maybe it’s a hair dryer,” Jean-Gab said hopefully.

The thing in the trunk is not a hair dryer. It’s actually a giant fly with orange eyes the size of a basketball. This gives Jean-Gab an idea. This is the kind of idea that we would probably all have when opening the trunk of the car for the first time. He wants to train the fly like a monkey and send it robbing banks.

At this point in the event, the Venice audience needs a little relief and they’ve stood up to hug Mandibles like you might a long-lost college buddy (the one who always brought the best weed and a backstage pass for the concert). Manu and Jean-Gab are such a stupid antihero duo that they can’t cook a simple meal without burning the trailer, so one wonders how they are going to be able to train a giant fly to make them millionaires. Still, it’s fun to watch them make their careers in the bushiest corners of the south of France, hatching ridiculous plans and performing double lashes. They reminded me of Patrick Dewaere and Gérard Depardieu in Les Valseuses by Bertrand Blier.

The inherent danger in the idea of ​​a drunken 1am movie, however, is that the wacky concept is pretty much the job. Once you’ve opened the chest and marveled at the contents, it’s hard to determine where a movie is going, other than going around in circles, trying to find new gags in the material or more sugar to keep it going. .

In a large house in the heights, Manu and Jean-Gab meet Agnès. She is played by Adèle Exarchopoulos, who was so good in Blue Is the Warmest Color but has a more difficult course here. Agnes, we are told, injured her brain in a skiing accident and Exarchopoulos plays her at full volume, screaming at every line, taking offense at every turn; playing handicap for belly laughs as if auditioning for Benny Hill. Entering the master bedroom one morning, Agnes sees the insect and stops short in shock. But the girl has a loose screw, so who’s going to believe Agnes?

Funny – the rogue elements that undermine credibility and risk breaking a movie. Turns out I’m totally on board with a giant fly in the trunk. It’s stupid, bellowing Agnes who ends up exploding the levels of the film.

Mandibles releases September 17 in theaters and September 20 on digital platforms.