Review by Bluray Junkies
“Have u ever explained politics to a baby horse… it’s amazing how they don’t care”
This type of line runs through this quirky film, but that’s also it’s charm.
Jacqueline is a mockumentary where a film crew travels to make a documentary film about Jacqueline who claims to have information about an assassination. The movie, which is also Bernardo Britto feature film debut and who also wrote the screenplay is full of intriguing ideas even if they don’t always work. The movie is a tongue in cheek, quirky comedy with thriller aspects to it that may not work for everyone, while others will love it. “The Director” as the character is called played by Wyatt Cenac is trying hard to make a studio film but never succeeds.. When he’s down on his luck he receives a message from a French intelligence whistle- blower named Jacqueline Dumont played charmingly by Camille Rutherford. She comes across top secret information about an assassination of a Politician that will have global implications. She’s also running for her life and is held up in a secret place in Argentina. Neither the director nor his crew, are quite sure why this French spy is contacting them to cover her story, but the allure of a political conspiracy is just too great to pass up. There are a lot of things that work in the movie mainly the chemistry between the director and the crew and their banter between each other over the course of the movie where they’re not sure if this person is who she says she is or is she just some crazy person stringing them along. There are parts that work in the movie and parts that don’t. Parts that do work are a husband and wife team who run the inn where Jacqueline is staying. They’re chemistry is great and very funny playing this older married couple, who agree to disagree. There’s a hang glider scene that was hilarious.
The POV camera work absolutely works for this movie and it never becomes annoying or over the top. The completely inexperienced camera crew keeps being intrusive on people’s lives while trying to film as much footage as they can which become especially funny when they try to hide from filming when spotted by passer buyers. And the conclusion monolog by “the Director” was impressive. Things that didn’t work was the movie was too long. Running at 1hr & 28min it would have worked better even if 8mins was trimmed. The journey of the camera crew following Jacqueline in her everyday life does start to become monotonous and rather dull. The humor starts becoming redundant and repetitive. Some scenes also felt somewhat jarring as it switches from one scene to another without an acknowledgment. However this dissipates as soon as the crew and Jacqueline head back to her house and find something that makes them think twice and that maybe she is being truthful about her story.
This is where the movie turns into the thriller aspect, with some terrific scenes between “the Director” and Jacqueline tracking down information while also feeling a threat on her life and Bernardo Britto does a great job at showing this between the two characters and developing an emotional connection between the two. With all the mega huge $250 million movies Hollywood keeps shoveling out this is a very refreshing movie. Even with some minor complaints, the direction, writing and performances and the comedy completely make up for it. It has some great and even touching moments and it’s well worth a watch, don’t miss it.