Black box: an effective paranoid mental thriller (review)

Black box: an effective paranoid mental thriller (review)

A great acting performance by Pierre Niney in this film which won the Audience Award at the recent Angoulême festival.

Released on September 8, 2021 in cinemas, Black Box will be broadcast this evening for the first time on television, on France 2. First advises you.

After a plane crash, the BEA must decipher the plane’s black box. Is it a terrorist act or a tragic accident due to a mechanical problem? Even the experts contradict themselves. From the start of the film, Gozlan plunges his spectators into the cabin at the moment of impact. The sequence is striking: crossing the entire plane from the cockpit to the famous black box in a beautiful sequence shot, the viewer tries to form an opinion. But doubt sets in. Did we really see a suspicious man stand up at the last moment? Did we really hear a ” Allahu Akbar “ ? This is the question that will also consume Mathieu Vasseur (Pierre Niney). This engineer quickly takes charge of the investigation. Rigorous, he is a technician with an excellent ear but who is as stubborn as he is arrogant. And above all, he is ready to sacrifice everything on the altar of science and his reason.

By adopting the point of view of this ambiguous hero, Gozlan plays with the realism of the procedures and settings. The first part of the film locks its main character and the viewer in his mental labyrinth. Vasseur’s obsessive quest unfolds in a sophisticated staging (tight editing, elaborate sound mixing) which makes Black Box an effective paranoid thriller. And then halfway through, Gozlan leaves the shores of scientific investigation for those of the action thriller. More marked, chrome like a Europacorp thriller, the film multiplies the chases and the treasure hunt becomes more muscular… In both cases, Pierre Niney’s interpretation forces the spectator to review his certainties each time, to replay the thread of what he has just seen to ensure if we can really trust this technician on the verge of taking the world into his madness.

Trailer :

Pierre Niney: “If Maïwenn offers me a film, I’ll sign with both hands”

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