Couldn't help but compare it to "The End of the Fucking World", and the latter definitely wins, but still, the more films there are about the fragility of a child's experience against the backdrop of the adult world, the better. The way children collapse against systems is the most urgent issue to raise today.
"The Little Gangster" takes what could've easily been viscerally effective and overcooks its themes without ever setting up the stakes or ramifications of the protagonists world in the opening act. The first act is barren, giving the audience little to no info on Marc's background and why he so desperately wants to meet his sister. This lack of a thematic essential is what flounders what could've been a strong film.
The first half was great. Wasn't brilliant but the drama was engaging. Then you hit the 45 minute mark and you start to realize the screenwriter forgot what they were writing about and couldn't remember it. The longer it goes after that point, the more the plot and the characters suffer.
This movie wants to cover many ideas and many themes when one one or two would do just find. The overarching theme for the first 45 minutes is "blood is thicker than water", and you see what Marc will do to see his sister. After that it becomes unclear which direction the movie wants to take. There are too many scenes of repeated dialogue and unnecessary events that just extend the run-time of the movie.
What a surprise! I was expecting some kind of French spécial après l'école, but this film works. It’s tight. It’s amazing what you can do when you have a real script, with real dialogue, and good actors. Well done. I might be overrating it a little by giving it 5*s, but I really enjoyed it.
A hidden gem that somehow hasn't gotten the distribution of Doisson's other films spotlighting youth. Very naturalistic, with a first-time actor plucked from a Paris housing project who has the right mix of baleful longing and plucky cockiness. Notice how Doisson switches the focus in the second half of the film to his sister, who moves from reluctant companion to his protector.