Review by David Ferguson
Greetings again from the darkness. Staging a kidnapping is one of the quickest ways to create cinematic tension. When that kidnapping involves a toddler, the emotions and tensions fly off the charts. With only his third film, writer-director Remi Allier won France’s Cesar Award for Best Short Film. Mr. Allier co-wrote the film with Julien Guetta and Gilles Monnat, and their film will have you on the edge of your seat for the full 15 minute run time.
We first see emotions erupting during labor negotiations between the workers’ Union and the shareholders of a factory that is being shut down. The negotiations are raucous, and the factory manager’s wife (on site for some inexplicable reason) decides its best if she takes their toddler son Leo home. In the blink of an eye, a mother’s poor decision leads to an even worse spontaneous decision by Bruno, one of the frantic workers.
Screen vet Jan Hammenecker plays Bruno, and Emile Moulron Lejeune is little Leo. Much of what happens next is shown from the toddler’s point of view, and it’s the faces of Leo and Bruno that tell the story … very little dialogue is heard after the opening sequence.
Director Allier’s film displays class disparity and how emotions can lead to decisions so bad that lives are forever altered. Some of the camera work here is excellent, and the tension as a viewer is at maximum capacity.