Chorus

****

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

A separated couple meet again after 10 years when the body of their missing son is found. Amid the guilt of losing a loved one, they hesitantly move toward affirmation of life, acceptance of death, and even the possibility of reconciliation.
"The film is dark. Its message of disconnection has layers of sub plots, barely hinted at yet still damaging"

It takes courage to test an audience with oblique references to something unknown when cinemagoers have been nannied for years through well thumbed scenarios that stick to the rules. Give Them What They Want is the mantra of accountants and CEOs who run the movie business. Writer/director Francois Delisle is a member of the avant garde, which means bottom liners can go hang - two fingers to easy.

For the opening 40 minutes of Chorus you struggle to find connections. There's a sad fat man in what appears to be prison telling a black detective (or is he a psychiatrist?) the story of how he met an eight-year-old boy in a ball park. There's a 40-year-old woman in a choir who has a panic attack at the sight of a baby. There's a fit looking man in Africa - turns out to be Mexico - living in a shack and having sex with a blonde in the middle of the day.

Copy picture

Dialogue is minimal, some internal, some voice to voice. The camera is servant to exactitude and the editing has no truck with fast cut modernism. The film may be damned for being pretentious and boring although first impressions can deceive as the acting is too intense and the story too strong to be admitted into Yawn City's College of Farty Arts.

Christophe (Sebastian Ricard) and Irene (Fanny Mallette) have split up after their only child, Hugo, disappeared 10 years ago. He escaped to Mexico; she stayed in Montreal. After Hugo's corpse is discovered in a shallow grave, Christophe returns.

Irene's mother has not yet recovered from the death of her husband. Their love, mother and daughter, has a bitter after taste. "Why didn't you cry when Dad killed himself?" Irene ponders. Christophe's relationship with his father is no better, eggshelled with polite avoidance and strained after years of absence. Whatever is the opposite of touchy-feely you have it here, like icicles in your head.

The film is dark. Its message of disconnection has layers of sub plots, barely hinted at yet still damaging. Words fail as feelings simmer.

Stay with it. Don't be frustrated by the silences and the slow pace. The reward is deeper than an ocean of platitudes.

Reviewed on: 13 Nov 2015
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Chorus packshot
A marriage torn apart by the disappearance of a child is reconnected as events offer closure, resurrecting emotions and a kind of hope

Director: François Delisle

Writer: Fran├žois Delisle

Starring: Sébastien Ricard, Fanny Mallette, Geneviève Bujold, Pierre Curzi,

Year: 2015

Runtime: 97 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: Canada, Mexico


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