Thursday, 3 March 2011

Le clan

2004 by Gael Morel

In a small French town quite away from any major city, three brothers are finding it difficult, just after the death of their mother, with a quite weak father. There are not many opportunities for the youth from the poor backgrounds and with out the help of strong parents, it is very easy for them to take the wrong path. Marc is macho figure and involves in some petty drug sales and when he is beaten up and his pet dog is killed wants to take revenge but ends up being paralyzed. The eldest brother Christophe is out of the prison and seems to have learned a lot and is happy to do a menial job in a Pork factory. But he is sincere in his job and soon takes up his boss's place and finds a girl friend too. The youngest Olivier, is in love with a boy of Algerian origin Hischam.

There are many good points in this movie, but still I it was not an easy watch. The movie intends to bring forth the difficulties faced by young men from poor backgrounds in small towns of France. These boys walk a tight rope that they can easily fall down to the dark side from where they might never be able to get back to normal life. At the same time it also shows a lot of hope in the way one of the brother gets back in to normal life after a stint in the prison. There is subtle machoism in this movie and there is extravagant homo sexuality as well. The movie is told through the eyes of Hischam, who actually is connected to all three brothers and is gay, might be the reason why the camera is always panning through the male body. Marc, especially has an excellent physique and great skin which definitely can evoke wow from most woman. There is this shot where the father is looking at the nude entangled brothers, which was shocking for me, but I didnt understand what that was meant for. Like wise there were many excellent frames, which I must say, is so typical of French movies from what I have seen.

Performances by all the actors has been really good and the scene where Marc is attending his physiotherapy was so well done. You could feel the pain. I also loved the Capoeira dance (a slave dance from Brazil) scenes, though short, as performed by Hischam and two brothers.

This movie is not for everybody, if you love heavy abstract stuff and want to think seriously and find out what all is about, this is the movie. I wont be able to watch this again.

There are no female characters at all, until when the girl friend of Christopher arrives for a family meal, and I found it difficult to digest, there are no female in sight at all. Even when the brothers are paying for sex, they are doing it with a trans sexual, not a woman.  Strange. 


  1. It sounds like "Pixote, A Lei do Mais Fraco", a Brazilean movie. The life of faceless and nameless people around us sometimes doesn't suit to our social standards, isn't it?
    Rajesh, if you are little bit interested in surrealistic movies just watch "Dreams" by Akira Kurosawa (A collection of 10 dreams)-if you haven't yet. I am sure that there will be something of your taste.

  2. I am afraid its not about the social standards. of course, I am not comfortable watching homo sexuality for whatever reasons it may be. the pace of the movie was quite drastic. If not for the characters, we would sleep through or stop watching.

    I think I have heard about Dreams. thanks Jijo.