6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
isn't quite right ...,
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This review is from: The Clan [DVD] (DVD)
Much as I like the work of Christophe Honoré who co-wrote this, and Gael Morel who directed, I do think the film has quite a few problems. In fact this is the second version of it I have bought, so I obviously don't think it is completely bad! However my liking has too much to do with the way the four actors look - indeed it is marvellous to see the three brothers and Salim Kechiouche as the friend. Thomas Dumerchez is very appealing as the youngest - who is gay - while Stéphane Rideau is iconic like a young Brando, and Nicolas Cazale has a tremendous anger mixed up with his grief. But the film really isn't convincing, as they are presented in so homoerotic a light it doesn't make sense. When do three brothers sleep naked and intertwined, with the father looking on for no good reason? And would straight guys really be inclined to use a transvestite prostitute one after the other as if it were quite normal, or sit masturbating together to porn when they are in their twenties? The macho goings-on of the eldest seem straight out of a comic-book fantasy - and it is hard to believe what we are being shown is really the result of the mother's death - the drugs feud that Cazale is involved in would presumably be going on anyway and has nothing to do with it. And the device of having Dumerchez talk to her photo seems a not very convincing way of filling us in with vital information.
I really like these actors but I think they can all be seen to better effect elsewhere. In fact Morel's next film starred the lovely Dumerchez with Catherine Deneuve in a film that also explored grief, but rather better - Apres Lui (Zone 1 only). Salim Kechiouche is in The String - also a gay role - playing alongside Claudia Cardinale, and better still, in Ozon's Les amants criminels, while Rideau is blisteringly sexy both in Les Roseaux sauvages starring alongside Gael Morel, and in the sublime Presque Rien. Le Clan should be brilliant and it certainly looks amazing - just look at that cover embrace! - but it is really an interesting failure. And there is a scene of terrible animal cruelty - I'm sure it's faked but it is very disturbing nonetheless.