Parting Shot

Parting Shot


Reviewed by: Chris

Frederique is a sexy, bolshy and slightly dangerous young woman. I am annoyed with myself that I find her slightly attractive. There is a simmering sexuality. As if her hormones are on adrenalin. As if her desire, whatever it is, will brook no obstacle. As if it rules her life. Not the sort of woman to get involved with if you can help it, I think. It's like she has a permanently bad case of PMT.

She's a nurse. Planning to pack it all in a week from now. A patient has just died. Bloody nuisance. But I start to suspect that Frederique's aggressive exterior conceals a lot of emotional turbulence. Maybe pain. Not that she's likely to let anyone know. She believes in the tough exterior she's created for herself.

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Frederique tries to relax after work. She's a crack shot with a rifle. Nice hobby. Carelessly leaves her gun on the back seat of a car sometimes, though. She has an emotionally unsatisfying confrontation with her ex. Goes to a bar and gets pissed. Gets off with two men. Yes, both of them.

Now comes the bad bit. No, nothing to do with those two dickheads she's just screwed. They haven't even begun to slake the anger that's boiling over inside her for no particular reason. Out in the woods a couple of schoolchildren, early teens, are taunting each other. Why is Frederique there? We don't know yet, but she can't take her eyes off these boys. One of them has a catapult. He shoots a bird. Then he shoots his friend. Then Frederique shoots him.

Parting Shot is about dealing with anger, about finding epiphany, about forgiving others - and oneself. Frederique lies to the police and isn't discovered. But (possibly worse) the boy, his knee badly injured from the rifle shot, is in her ward. Her attempts to get him transferred fail. Slowly, the two of them form a strange bond. In helping him to deal with his pre-teen angst she is able to face her own anger, as well as the shock and self-reproach she suffers: the results of her unpremiditated action are sinking in.

Hospitalised and eventually opening up, when our catapult-wielding lad says he only wanted to hurt his pal 'at the time', something clicks inside Frederique. But then he begins to suspect her.

The main problem with Parting Shot is believing in the character of Frederique. She hides many complex contradictions. Passionate but emotionally detached. Surface normal but deeply troubled. Is her isolation the result of modern day pressures we all feel to a degree? Once we can accept her, Parting Shot becomes a fascinating meditative study for anyone that has ever felt themselves in the grip of uncontrollable passion, rage, frustration. Or simply wanting to vent one's anger against the universe for no particular reason.

Reviewed on: 25 Aug 2007
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A frustrated young nurse finds her life transformed after she meets a troublesome teenager.

Director: Jeanne Waltz

Writer: Jeanne Waltz

Starring: Isild Le Besco, Lio, Steven de Almeida, Yves Verhoeven, Christophe Sermet, Estelle Bealem

Year: 2007

Runtime: 85 minutes

Country: France


Leeds 2008

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