Saturday, 30 March 2013

Review: In The House / Dans La Maison

World of Blackout 77-Word Film Review

In The House Poster

In The House / Dans La Maison
Cert: 15 / 105 mins / Dir. François Ozon

I've learned a lesson today. I've found my line. It's at my local multiplex, watching the sequel to G.I. Joe in eye-straining 3D. Leaving aside my grumbles with the Independent Cinema which was to be my venue for the film*1, I probably didn't bond with Dans La Maison as much as the director intended.

The short version is, I found it hard to like the central character, the school-teacher Germain, and he's the one we're supposed to be relating to. And if I can't get along with him, you can only imagine how I felt about the others; the flawed, oblivious, lying, narcissistic characters which flesh out two hours of deliberately ambiguous, depressing whimsy. Outside of these, I didn't particularly enjoy the story, either in narrative or in subtext. I'd like to think it's a cultural difference, but I know it isn't; it's an entirely personal disconnect.

But, at its core, Dans La Maison is a story about writing, itself. I found it extremely irritating that Germain frequently berates his protegé, Claud, for using form over content when the film I was watching had a patchy form and next to no content. It felt a little like a concussion sufferer trying to recount details of an accident he barely remembers being in; disjointed, confusing, and ultimately aimless.

At the end of the two hours, as the credits rolled, I thought to myself 'what have I gained from the story I've just watched?. With the best will in the world, the answer is fuck all.

There are shades of Ruby Sparks, except that it all pretty much happens as you see it, and you can't like anyone on screen. So that's all good, then.

I feel no shame whatsoever in longing for Iron Man 3 at my local Cineworld.

Is the trailer representative of the film?

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
Not really.

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
Probably. Just not what I want it to achieve.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
Pfff. DVD, I suppose.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
Oh, yes..

Will I watch it again?

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
I wish.

And because you won't be happy until I've given it a score...

*1 I'll save that for another post.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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