Mandibles: Dupieux leaves us wanting more (review)

Mandibles: Dupieux leaves us wanting more (review)

A hilarious pitch carried by the Palmashow duo. Except that by repeating itself, the Dupieux mechanism ends up wearing out and tiring.

When Cannes festival-goers discover The Second Actof Quentin Dupieuxat the opening of this 77th edition – note that the film is also exceptionally released in cinemas at the same time, C8 is banking this evening on Mandiblesby the same director, released in cinemas at the end of 2020. Bad choice? First had been quite frustrated by this comedy led by Grégoire Ludig and David Marsais, the Palmashow duo. Perhaps we expected too much, given its completely barred starting point?

Since then, we have preferred Yannick… And The Second Act. Here is our review.

The pitches of Quentin Dupieux's films have the good habit of being devilishly effective. A killer tire falls for a young girl in the California desert. A man goes looking for his dog which he has just lost along with his job. A director must find the best moan in the history of cinema in 48 hours for his horror film to see the light of day. A man obsessed with his suede jacket… So many starting points that the director develops in tight plots whose format varies between 75 and 90 minutes.

Mandibles is no exception to the rule. 77 minutes, credits included, to tell the story of two somewhat low-key friends – Jean Gab and Manu – who, after finding a giant fly in the trunk of a car they stole, get into trouble to train her to earn money. Pitch once again promising because in the hands of an author who we know uses the absurd like a precision weapon. Except no. At least not really.

Obviously, Mandibles is full of delightfully stupid discoveries. Certainly, the Palmashow duo, Grégoire Ludig and David Marsais, find the right tone to embody these Dumb and Dumber made in France. But Quentin Dupieux gives the feeling of resting on his laurels. Rightly so given the rave response from the French press after its presentation at the Venice Film Festival. Wrong for us aficionados of his work who despair of seeing him move up a gear one day. To transcend your pitch instead of giving the impression of hitting the line.

Once the basis of his story is laid, Mandibles indeed advances in a false rhythm which sometimes flirts with what looks like laziness because of an air of (too much) déjà vu within its cinema itself. A (long) moment in the film symbolizes this. Following a misunderstanding, Jean Gab and Manu find themselves in a villa where Cécile (India Hair, as always perfect) – who thinks she recognizes Jean-Gab, a childhood friend – and three other rich kids are spending the summer. like her. One of them – brilliantly played by Adèle Exarchopoulos – is affected by vocal trauma following a skiing accident. It is through this particularism that she exists on screen. But the other two remain confined to advocacy roles. Roméo Elvis (for his first role in the cinema) seems to replay the same scene ad lib. And the excellent Coralie Russer (120 beats per minute, Blonde beasts) sees herself reduced to playing luxury extras. Without a notable moment. Without a scene worthy of the name.

As if Dupieux looked badly at his actors, solely obsessed by this nonchalant but mechanical efficiency which constitutes his signature. A thousand miles from these dumb buddy movies legendary like Dumb and Dumber Or Brothers in spite of themselves whose authors know how to rely on their crazy actors and an overflowing imagination to build stories and situations that transcend their initial pitches. The Dupieux machine is so well oiled that it purrs. And it's precisely because we still laugh a lot at his films that we dream of him finally making it to the second one.

Trailer :

Quentin Dupieux gives a nod to Les Bronzés sont du ski with The Second Act (trailer)

Similar Posts