Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actor: Isild Le Besco
Director: Benoit Jacquot
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: Strand Releasing Release Date: 05/27/2008
Bombarding the Senses
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 05/04/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
Bombarding the Senses
"The Untouchable", the new film by Benoit Jacquot, is punishment for the senses. It gives the audience painful visuals and audios and the hand-held came plays with the eyeballs. The film is jumpy and everything happens so quickly that is hard to stay relaxed while watching it. The soundtrack is much the same, with harsh music that is too loud and the instruments that are used are not pleasant to hear. According to what I have read, there is a reason for this. It is to come close to a journey of self discovery which include coming to terms with suffering and danger. We know that pilgrims to shrines often approached them on their knees and Jeanne, Jacquot's pilgrim has never felt that was at home in society or in her own skin. She was raised by a single mother and learned, at age 18, that her father was an Indian. She then takes a journey to go to see him and find her roots.
Islid le Besco is Jeanne and gives an illuminating performance. We sense her rage and we feel her loneliness and we never feel at ease watching her. She sits on the edge between violation and victimization. She is the director's muse as well but for some reason this film is too small to contain her. She wanders off of the screen and takes the film with her.
Although parts of the film are beautiful to watch, the script gets lost in what appears to be a disjointed travelogue. The fact that Jeanne had to humiliate herself b playing in a cheap filmed sex scene adds nothing to the film and what he get is an empty movie. The film uses a fake intellectualism and the plot is weak and I felt like I was watching a series of clichés.
An Idea That Never Takes Flight
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 07/11/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"THE UNTOUCHABLE requires patience on the part of the viewer - patience to stay with this sullen, dark and clunky film to the end only to discover the wait was not worth the patience! Writer/director Benoît Jacquot had a good idea: trace the search for a biological father to a country foreign to the seeker. What results instead of a journey of self-discovery is a travelogue to India as captured by a hand held camera with what appears to be a minuscule budget.
Jeanne (Isild Le Besco) discovers on her eighteenth birthday that her mother (Bérangère Bonvoisin) conceived her on the banks of the Ganges River in India with an Indian man who remains unknown. Furious at her mother's secret and feeling the profound need to connect with her biological father, Jeanne, an actress, leaves her acting workshop to make a racy film in order to make enough money to travel to India. Once in India she searches for traces of her father without success. But the search is not without some interest for the viewer: the hand held camera that follows her through the airport and the countryside and to Benares (that city by the Ganges where the dead are cremated in elaborate fashion and the living bathe in the waters of the holy river). She gathers clues as to her father's identity from friendly strangers, but alas, the riddle remains unsolved.
Isild Le Besco is in practically every frame of this film and she indeed is an interesting actress to watch. But the lack of intelligent dialogue prevents this film from revealing motivations or character development, opting instead for a static (and rather poorly edited and scored) glance at the mysteries of India. For those interested in watching in detail the preparation of bodies for cremation and the slow act of that ritual, this is a film worth watching. For the casual viewer it is tedious. Grady Harp, July 08"