Partisan (2015) Film Review

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It’s a mysterious world. Perhaps the future, or maybe not. We don’t really know a lot, except that there are a lot of decaying buildings and rubbish everywhere. Then, in one of the decaying buildings live a strange group. There is Gergori (Vincent Cassel), the patriarch. Then there are bunch of women and a whole flock of kids. It seems innocent enough, with fun karaoke nights and big group dinners, until you realise that Gregori is not just their father figure… he is training the children to be assassins. Then the oldest child, Alexander (Jeremy Chabriel) starts to realise that this man is not all that he appears to be.

Wow. This film is really intense. I loved that I had no idea about the world where this is happening, so it’s difficult to simply thing of Gregori as a monster. Perhaps the world is awful, perhaps this is the only way to survive. We know as little as the children sent out on their missions. Cassel portrays such a complexity in Gregori – he is kind of evil, but also extremely caring. There is a calmness and gentleness to him, yet there is violence and aggression just below that. It’s like everyone in the complex is enamoured with him but also totally fearful of doing the wrong thing. And the young Chabriel is able to express a world of emotion with very little physical expression.

I very much look forward to seeing further work from Ariel Kleiman. This is his first feature film, and it was screened with one of his earlier shorts, Deeper Than Yesterday. Wow.

 

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