Two Schema Writers on Charly
Review by Matthew Tsang
Charly is a poignant coming-of-age tale about a lonely, listless adolescent boy named Nicolas (Kolia Litscher). Isild Le Besco's direction of the film seems to be a reflection of Nicolas and his everlasting comatose state throughout the film. However insufferable this may sound, there is a hidden charm within the protagonist whether it be his innocence or his vulnerability, that makes audience wish for him to wake from his slumber.
At the start of the film, we see that Nicolas receives little counsel of any sort from his foster parents, and thus he attempts to find parental guidance from his teacher Francois. After talking to Francois, who offers him little advice other than the fact that his life will be an uphill climb, Nicolas picks up a copy of Frank Wedekind's “Spring Awakening” left behind by his teacher. Slipped inside the pages of the play is a postcard of a seascape at Belle-Ile-en-Mer, which Nicolas impulsively decides is his new destination. Along his journey, he meets Charly (Julie-Marie Parmentier), a young prostitute with obsessive-compulsive behaviour that ensures her trailer home is always clean and tidy. The unusual relationship forged between the awkward, drowsy Nicolas and the assertive and bold Charly excites the film greatly. With the demanding Charly in the picture, Nicolas learns lessons he desperately needs and wants – the ability to create order, fend for himself, and other life essentials (not always repeating “I dunno”). The film plays on the irony that eventually a young woman in the prostitution business is the only source that Nicolas can rely on to raise him from the dead and develop his maturity.
Overall, the film works nearly flawlessly with precise dialogue and superb chemistry. The performances from Litscher and Parmentier alone make this film worth watching.
Review by Chris Walts
Something screened before Charly. It might have been a mix-up, or a purposeful pairing of short films, but they made me want to leave the theatre and things only got worse from there. Charly is touted as a quirky coming of age story set somewhere in the French country side. It is about a fourteen year old boy who whimsically sets out in the middle of the night for beach he saw on a postcard, and winds up being taken in by a young obsessive compulsive prostitute played by the director Isild le Besco. One positive thing I can say about the movie is Isild le Besco’s performance is actually quite good and her sparse use of dialogue is an interesting cinematic experiment. It is not enough of a saving grace however, as on a whole the film simply isn’t good which was proved by the fact that a decent amount of people got up and left the theatre.
Isild le Besco | France | 2007 | 95min
Fri. Sept. 26 | 7:00pm | Empire Granville Theatre 2
Sat. Sept. 27 | 4:30pm | Empire Granville Theatre 2
Sun. Oct. 5 | 11:00am | Vancity Theatre
TrackBack URL for this entry: