La Tete En Friche ( movie review)

Global rating of the product: 5 stars

Gerard Depardieu is probably one of the best French actors alive. If you appreciated him in other movies, you will probably totally love this one. In his most recent movie, ” La Tete En Friche”, he is starring along with Gisele Casadesus.

The term ” en friche” in French is an idiomatic expression that usually refers to uncultivated fields. The field here is Germain ( Gerard Depardieu)’s head. German, a man who is in his 50’s, is quite illiterate. He shares his sparetime between his friends at a local cafe ( some of them are making fun of his ignorance), his girlfriend, his abusive mom and his garden. The paradox is that German is a great cultivator, a gardener of exception, who knows how to grow ( and sell) his vegetables.

Some people, who seem unsignificant at first sight, sometimes appear in our lives when we expect them the least. Some of them have the power to change our lives, though. Germain’s destiny will completely change after he encounters a 95 year old lady, Margueritte ( Gisele Casadesus). The old lady happens to be very ciultivated and she is a great litterature teacher to Germain. She introduces him to the world of French writers Albert Camus and Jules Supervielle. Germain realizes that reading is also playing with your imagination, visualizing and bringing things to life.

Dealing with his mom suffers from an early stage of dementia, Germain regularly meets, Margueritte at the same place, in a park, in an avid quest of knowledge.

French writers and a recently acquired syllabus allow Germain to express in a different way to the greatest surprise of his friends, who barely recognize him.

Dramatic circumstamces affect Germain: he learns from Margueritte’s mouth that she will be condemned to progressive blindness. The old lady’s universe is made of books…what is going to happen to her? Germain, encouraged by his girlfriend is ready to make the effort to be her friend’s reader.

He will improve his reading skills.

Germain’s mom dies suddenly. At the same time his girlfriend gets pregnant. Germain is over the moon!
His mom, who didn’t seem to like him when she was alive left a fortune to her son. Good news for Germain, who is now ready to visit Margueritte at her luxury elderly home. To his greatest surprise, he is informed the old lady has been taken by her family. She now lives somewhere in Belgium.
When Germain knocks at the door, he lerans from Margueritte’s son, that she has been put in another elderly home, because the family couldn’t take care of her.

When Germain eventually find Margueritte, she seems abandoned in a kind of elderly home where old people are treated like useless things.

Germain makes his decision rapidly: he kidnaps her old friend and takes her home.

The movie is full of tenderness and a true love story. It is accessible to all kind of people. Fluent French is required, though.

A must see…I loved it and I recoomend it to anybody:)

Copyright by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

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