99 Francs (2007) Film Review

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Advertising – does it get more evil than that? Actually, if you want to look into the evils of the advertising industry, watch The Gruen Transfer. It’s cool for that. This film is good for beautiful scenery, nifty graphics and, at times, animations, and then a crappy ending that feels very convenient (with a hint of Wayne’s World).

Octave Parango (Jean Dujardin) is an advertising creative. At the top of his field, he spends his days taking drugs, creating campaigns for people he has no respect for and being very cool (and smug). However, after a love affair turns sour, Octave becomes lost. He hates his life and everything in it, and this all becomes focused on the campaign he is creating for a yoghurt company. He decides to show the world the processes that go on behind the advertising campaign.

For me, the pacing of this film was off. The part which was really the most interesting was what he wanted to do; creating an alternative ad to bring down the world of advertising. Yet this only happened in the last fifteen minutes or so. Most of the film was taken up with showing his life, from his pain at the break-up through all of the excesses of money and drugs and to his disregard for pretty much anyone around him. This was fine, but what about his revolution? Why shove it down the end? And then, there was almost nothing on what happened in response to his actions.

It’s a beautiful film to watch, but just missed the mark.

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Filed under Film Reviews, Foreign Language Film

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