Sunday, February 21, 2010

Les sept jours du talion (7 Days)

Die hard fans of Patrick Senécal and movie goers alike will definitely like Les 7 jours du talion . Indeed, this is by far the best adaptation of a work from Canada's own Stephen King. However, if you have a weak stomach, avoid this film at all cost because of its very graphic scenes of violence.

Bruno Hamel (Claude Legault) is a surgeon by trade. He happily lives with Sylvie (Fanny Mallette), his wife, and Jasmine (Rose-Marie Coallier), their daughter. During one day, Bruno allows Jasmine to go outside in order to deliver invitation cards for her upcoming ninth birthday. Of course, he'd like to accompany his daughter, but he's too exhausted by his job and neither can Sylvie. However, as times goes by, Jasmine is unaccounted for. In the evening, Jasmine is found dead in the woods after she had been raped.

When Jasmine's killer, Anthony Lemaire (Martin Dubreuil), is arrested and ready to go in court, Bruno has one idea in his mind: he wants to take the chance to kidnap the "monster". Besides, while in hiding (with the "monster" as a hostage), he tells to the police that he'll torture the killer for seven days. Afterwards, Bruno plans to turn himself in after he had killed Lemaire. Nonetheless, will Sgt. Det. Hervé Mercure (Rémy Girard) manage to arrest Bruno as the clock is ticking?

Unlike Sur le seuil and 5150, Rue des ormes, this film won't disappoint you. Furthermore, Patrick Senécal's script in this film is rather faithful to his novel by being at a time an intimate drama (the relation between Bruno and Sylvie), a traditional crime thriller (Hervé Mercure's hunt of Bruno) and an extreme film à la South Korean (the torture scenes). Moreover, the film doesn't judge what any of the characters are doing. Of course, some will probably complain about the absence of music in the film and the installation of a slow pace by the time Bruno begins to torture Jasmine's killer. In the end, who cares?

After all, with Daniel Grou's outstanding direction, Les sept jours du talion sustains our interest with its ability to set a disturbing atmosphere. In fact, with terse dialogues (and sometimes none at all), Les sept jours du talion, the film brings us in the four characters' (Bruno, Sylvie, Hervé and Anthony) psyche without much difficulty. Moreover, the cast's performance also contributes to reinforce that feeling. In fact, Claude Legault's eye expressions single-handedly tells us how much his characters got pushed to his limits by the events depicted in the story.

Finally, expect Les sept jours du talion to be unrealistic at times. Indeed, just think about the scenes in which Bruno captures a woman in order to make her see Anthony Lemaire or the short period of time he had in order to buy scrambler for phones (and anything else). Despite that, Les sept jours du talion is still a movie that one appreciates for the intensity of the performance from the cast as a whole. As a hero who feels that he has nothing to lose regardless of what will befall, Legault's contribution elevate this contemporary tragedy without judging violence whether it comes from a criminal or Bruno.

Rating: 4/5

Origin:Canada (2010)
Length:110 minutes
Screenplay:Patrick Senécal
Director:Daniel Grou
Starring:Claude Legault, Rémy Girard, Martin Dubreuil and Alexandre Goyette

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