Grigris, a 25 year old man, dreams of becoming a dancer despite the fact that he has a paralyzed leg. His dreams are shattered when his uncle falls seriously ill. To save him, he decides to go work for petrol traffickers.
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Continuing to bring fresh and unusual faces to the screen, Haroun has created a vibrant and richly textured world in this tale of disadvantage and struggle. Unfortunately, when stripped of surface-dressing the story travels paths all-too familiar and doesn't achieve the potency and depth of wisdom reached with A Screaming Man. Sound design and camera are top notch, performances are decent. 3 stars
Chad. And, for-the-love-of-petrol. The director found a dancer. And, a (Muslim?) hooker with a heart of gold. The ending gets weird -- return to the post-Woodstock hippie U.S. Hollywood-ish genre -- kind of Vanishing Point-y.
I was captivated by this without really knowing why. I think it was the lack of a soundtrack and the way everything was so matter of fact, like "here is one life in this hardscrabble country." I felt like it was made to draw awareness to Chad. I also wonder why the French spoken was so simple; all these elements seemed designed not to distract from the story. No flourishes, just a good story.
Formulaic as a crime tale, mesmerizing as a character study. I found it gripping enough as the former and nuanced enough as the latter to set aside any criticisms. The composition and shot framing is very well done, and this might be the first film I've seen from Chad. All told, it has more to recommend it than not.
Breathtaking view into the complexities of economic and social life on the margins as two outsiders find reprieve in each other. The audience is given a gift Souleymane's performance as bodies, loyalties and fiscal power intertwine. A sensitive, almost ethnographic rendering of West African urban life.
An excellent rendering of both the normality of life in places about which we know little (tell me the countries that share borders with Chad, for instance) and the difficulties of overcoming poverty and resisting the corrupting influence of money (which drives otherwise good people to do horrible things). Deme plays himself, and he's brilliant. The supporting cast, particularly Monory and Guei, are wonderful.
My first Haroun movie. Excellent use of diegetic sound helps ground film in the specific world of the characters. Well-edited, riveting plot. For Mimi, Grigris lives up to the meaning of his name: protector against evil and bringer of luck. And Mimi is likewise Grigris' grigris. Spectacular, exhilarating dancing. Bob Fosse would have made Grigris a star.