Les Apprentis

Les Apprentis


Reviewed by: Trash Fletcher

Fred is the kind of chap who likes peeing into the middle of the toilet, because it makes him feel powerful - much to the annoyance of his ambitionless playwright friend Antoine.

The two are close, a little too close, sometimes same bed close. Some people could probably, quite successfully, raise justifiable points about mounting homosexual undertones throughout the film.

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They have very little in the way of finance, eating only what Fred can fit into his pockets and generally bumming off those around them.

But soon they find their free ride crashes and burns, as they're forced to find alternative accommodation and some sort of sustainable income. Antoine's play being nowhere near complete and Fred's obsession with local girl Agnes just further adds to the general air of misery surrounding their lives, and soon things take a sharpish turn for the worse.

Some folk might go as far as to stereotype French films in general, as films in which very little actually happens, and those people are sure to drop this film neatly into such a pigeon hole, however, like most films where very little happens, what is happening is quite a lot more exciting than yours or my life. Well, I don't generally rob karate magazines of their monthly earnings, you might, in which case, this film is sure to be a roaring success in your eyes.

This film, like many, would be absolutely nothing without its brilliantly crafted script. I don't speak French myself so I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the subtitles, but what is there, is often nothing short of hilarious, the humour sinking into darker realms as the plot progresses and Antoine's depression escalates.

Antoine's relationship with his ex is touching, and Fred's obsessive love toward Agnes is playfully cringe-worthy, presenting an almost grim view of personal relations but with a much needed glimmer of hope.

Les Apprentis is a film about love, friendship and morals. If you like your films to have emotional depth and well-constructed characters then this is quite possibly for you. Not the best but much better than just good.

Reviewed on: 12 Sep 2006
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Black comedy about two hapless pals and their misadventures.
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Director: Pierre Salvadori

Writer: Franck Bauchard, Nicolas Cuche, Philippe Harel, Pierre Savadori, Marc Syrigas

Starring: Francois Cluzet, Guillaume Depardieu, Judith Henry, Claire Laroche

Year: 1995

Runtime: 95 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: France


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