Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tout est parfait (Everything is Fine)

Yves Christian Fournier’s first feature film is a teenager film among others that shifts away from the normal tendency (read: entertainment at all cost). Most teenagers might not like it, because the film can seem depressing and slow. All in all, despite its few flaws, Tout est parfait is, without a doubt, a powerhouse when it comes to acting thanks to its well chosen cast and Fournier's great mastery of speaking parts as well as silent ones.

Josh (Maxime Dumontier), a teenager from a suburb of Montreal, learns that his four best friends all died because of a pact of suicide. Seeing that he clearly was excluded from this pact, the young man doesn’t know how to respond to this tragic event. Moreover, when his school offers him the help from a psychologist, Josh feels that he has nothing to say about the death of his four best friends. However, he decides to find solace and love in the arms of Mia (Chloé Bourgeois), the former girlfriend of one of his deceased friends.

Although it deals with a very tough topic without openly admitting it, which is suicide among teenagers, the film doesn't make any judgement about the characters' choice. Moreover, Tout est parfait is not your usual film that attempts to explain why Josh's four best friends committed suicide. Hence, Guillaume Vigneault's, the scriptwriter, brilliant ability to justify such a choice because of the film's ironic title. In fact, as the script beautifully - and yet tragically - suggests, Josh doesn't see any reason why his friend committed suicide. As flashbacks are brought to us, we see that there were no worrisome signs in his friends' mood.

Therefore, like Flower and Garnet, this film presents in a short period of time at the beginning a tragic event. Afterwards, like Flower and Garnet, Tout est parfait focuses on showing how Josh copes with the tragic event in his daily life. Although much is said in the silent parts, Tout est parfait is far to be boring. Through the astonishing performance by Maxime Dumontier, who literally bears the film on his shoulders, the film manages to translate the fact that the tragic event is felt like an unexpected earthquake by Josh.

Therefore comes this question: as Josh tries to lead a normal life, will he ever get over his friends' death?

Finally, Tout est parfait is definitely one of the best Canadian films of last year if not of all time. The film is not always easy to watch, but if you like well-acted films, consider watching this one,for it's definitely animated by characters that are very easy to care about. Besides, with other films that I haven't seen (but have heard of), Tout est parfait gives a much needed credibility to the genre of teenager films.

Rating: 4/5

Origin:Canada (2008)
Length:118 minutes
Genre:Psychological drama
Screenplay:Yves Christian Fournier and Guillaume Vigneault
Director:Yves Christian Fournier
Starring:Maxime Dumontier, Chloé Bourgeois, Normand D'Amour and Claude Legault

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