Top positive review
36 people found this helpful
The Music That Makes Me Dance
on 19 March 2006
Tom (Romain Duris) works as a sort of real-estate thug. He and his partners trash buildings in low-income areas, buying them low and selling them high for a quick profit. It's a grotesque scam that involves letting sewer rats loose in target buildings so as to scare out squatters and sometimes paying tenants.
Tom's work is morally corrupt and physically debilitating and Tom manifests this corruptness in the very core of his being: he's depressed, violent, short-tempered and vehemently without empathy and humanity. He is only seemingly nice when a good-looking woman is around and that is only so he can bed her.
Then one day he spots his dead mother's music manager who promises him an audition which draws Tom back into his musical training: something he deserted many years before. Tom throws himself into classical music at first as a challenge to recapture his talent. But what he doesn't initially realize is that music will ultimately prove to be his salvation...turning him from the darkness to the light.
Music has always been something that Tom has associated with what little good he has experienced in his life. To him, music recalls his loving mother. To him, music has always meant love. And he grasps at a life in music like a drowning man grasps at a life preserver. He is as neurotic at reclaiming his musical talent as he is at stealing, drinking, drugging and cheating. He has a goal for the first time in many, many years.
Romain Duris ("The Spanish Apartment," "Le Divorce") heretofore has always been the good guy: young and sweet yet in both of these roles he was always a little devious, a little devilish. Here, Duris is all about Cuban-heeled shoes, black leather jacket, buffed out body, dyed black hair and unflinching scowl. More importantly, Tom has a big black hole where his soul should be and he uses his love of music to fill it...little by little as a compulsive eater uses food to fill an emptiness that is never quite satiated. Duris gives a profound, thoughtful and passionate performance.
Director Jacques Audiard (the sublime "Read My Lips") has made a film redolent of darkness and misanthropy on one hand and hope and light on the other. And it is this ambiguity that makes this film snap with world-weary wit and non-sanctimonious truth.
Redemption through the intricacies and beauty found within and between the notes of a Bach Toccata? Oh, yes.