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Tanya Khoury: Triumphant in tragedy
November 16, 2012
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The film festival season is upon us. Of course, many have already wrapped up for the year but we still have a major one coming up in this part of the world and it is less than a month away. In anticipation of that film festival I felt it fitting to see Jacques Audiard’s De rouille et d’os also known as Rust and Bone.

Based on the short story by Craig Davidson, Audiard along with Thomas Bidegain, adapted the screen play starring Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts who are incredibly talented actors. I don’t want to compare this film with Audiard’s past greats A Prophet, The Beat That My Heart Skipped, Read My Lips and the list goes on. I loved all those films and I tried really hard not to fixate on those stories and be completely impartial to this one.

The best thing about Audiard’s films is that they take quite a bit of time to sink in; well that is the case for me at least. I tend to sit and philosophise about every single scene and come up with a completely different view in my head as soon as I give my initial feedback. With this story it was no different. The cast, as always, is truly magnificent, carrying the story beautifully when at times I felt that there was a little bit of inconsistency with the flow.

Jacques Audiard’s Rust and Bone deserves serious viewing and applause for direction, cinematography and performances
This film tells the story of Ali, an ex-boxer who is desperate to get back into that world and Stephanie, a killer whale trainer. The circumstance in which they meet and their relationship deepens is tragic, but that is not what intrigued me about the story. The character buildup, and their backgrounds and feeling are what make this story, alongside some exceptional cinematography and direction.

This feature is exactly two hours long and as much as I hate to admit it, in some areas of the story I felt like the scenes dragged on a little too much. As we get to know what each of the character’s personality is about and what triggers them, some scenes just felt quite erratic and not synched with how the story was coming along. This doesn’t really take away from the experience of the film; it still is very intense and engrossing. Cotillard’s character Stephanie suffers from an accident due to which she ends up losing both of her limbs and Schoenaerts Ali is there, not because he feels sympathy towards her but because of is a bond that is created when two people have a similar torment from within. Both are extremely charismatic and have excellent chemistry and they overshadow everyone else in the film. Even though all the other characters and their storylines play an important role in the film’s entirety, the main two are simply too good.

Overall and as much as I tried not to compare this film to the past ones, I just couldn’t help doing so. It is not as powerful as his past titles, but it is definitely worth a watch, an undoubtedly good story with underlying emotions that are very raw and the director taps into that in a way that only he knows how. Do go see it at the festival once there is a showing, the complete cast and team working on the film deserve another applause for delivering films that are of this kind of calibre. A decent 7.8/10 for this one Audiard.
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