Eye For Film >> Movies >> Tonnerre (2013) Film Review
Reviewed by: Richard Mowe
Tonnerre means thunder in French but the title refers as well to a small village in the Burgundy region of France which is close to the director’s heart - some of his relatives still live near by.
The town may be small but Guillame Brac’s themes have wider horizons as he follows the return to his roots of 33-year-old musician Maxime (Vincent Macaigne). Back living with his father in an uneasy relationship he has a passionate and romantic encounter with the 20-year-old Melody (Solène Rigot), who is on the rebound from her boyfriend.
For Maxime it’s an amour fou which spirals out of control, leading to Melody’s abuduction and an assault on her footballer boyfriend. From this mid-point in the film the thunder clouds hover with a brooding menace.
Brac is well served by his lead actor Macaigne who worked with him on his previous film A World Without Women. Here he turns in a remarkable and charismatic portrait of a man at the crossroads, coming to terms both with his emotional needs and the pained relationship with his father (played by Bernard Menez).
Both men go through cathartic experiences as the rivetting narrative unfolds, quite unlike the tranquility that Maxime had imagined for his few days at home.
Brac films the small town in great detail, capturing its claustrophobia, and the sometimes tragic destinies of his protagonists. He reveals himself as a director with an intimate grasp on his material, which he knows how to stamp with a particular identity and displays a maturity of purpose.
On this evidence (and his prevous film and shorts) Brac emerges as one of the most exciting of a new generation of French directors and is one of the revelations of this year’s Locarno selection and deserves to be rewarded.Reviewed on: 14 Aug 2013