Bastards (Les Salauds)

So that’s 100 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.  A confusing, poorly lit, disjointed and relentlessly grim 100 minutes, at that.  So what’s it about?

He doesn't look happy, and I can't say I blame him

He doesn’t look happy, and I can’t say I blame him

The film opens on a man taking a dive off the top of a tall building.  Cut to a naked young woman wandering the streets.  Cut to a sea-captain getting a phone call and taking off for dry land.  We soon learn that the dead man was the captain’s best friend, and his estranged sister’s husband.  The captain, Marco, seeks revenge by seducing the wife of the man who they believe caused the suicide (herein to be known as the old guy or old dude).  OK, so far so coherent.

But, and its a big BUT… the story is told out of sequence, so you’re never sure what’s happening now and what’s old news.  This didn’t make me think ‘wow, that’s clever’ it just annoyed the hell out of me.  You’re not going to top Memento.  You’re just not.  There’s a part where he’s at it in his flat with the neighbour and then it cuts to him outside the building, as if he’s coming home.  What the?

Oh, then there’s the dark lighting.  Not necessarily a problem, but when you have three women who all look remarkably similar, basically taking it in turns to hang around in dimly light rooms, it becomes really hard to follow what’s happening.  This was sometimes weird too, as one of the women was Marco’s sister, the other was his niece and the third was the one he was shagging.  Eww.


I usually avoid spoilers but I disliked this film so much, I sort of don’t want anyone else to have to see it.  Plus I feel I can only explain exactly how much I disliked it, by talking specifically about some of the events that occur.

So,  after the slowest hour and half of cinema I’ve seen in a while, the big resolution is that the dead guy raped his daughter with a corn on the cob, on camera, in front of the old guy, and then killed himself.  Urgh.  Talk about turgid.  And Marco’s sister  – the girl’s mother – knew about it.  Oh, and then the daughter kills herself, too.  Then, the shitty icing on the crap-cake is that the neighbour woman who’s been shagging Marco kills him when he gets into a fight with her husband, the old guy.  How’s that for an ending?

Vincent Lindon was is in the actually-not-bad-film Anything for Her, which unfortunately spawned the quite terrible Russell Crowe remake named The Next Three Days, so I already know that I think he’s a pretty good actor.  It’s a shame then, that THIS FILM IS TERRIBLE!

Score: 3/10 (all for Vincent Lindon, who does his best)



9 responses to “Bastards (Les Salauds)

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