See How They Fall (Regarde les hommes tomber) Reviews
Despite a fairly conventional set-up See How They Fall is ostensibly about men recapturing their youth vicariously through young companions, complete with a strong subtext of repressed homosexuality. An interesting conceit but the film just feels far too vague, as if there isn't actually any depth there at all. The two narratives are both engaging, and their march towards conclusion never allows the pace to drop too drastically, but as a whole it isn't gripping enough to work as a thriller nor contemplative enough as a study of men. Falling somewhere between the two it delivers a subversive take on the crime genre that never wholly satisfies.
The odd-couple pairing of Frederic and Marx, with its defiant unpredictability, is the stronger of the two stories. Traipsing from one den of iniquity to the next, gambling and fighting all the while, it's impossible to see where they're headed, but the chemistry between Trintignant and Kassovitz is so strong that being in the presence of the couple is reward enough. Kassovitz in particular is excellent as the puppy-dog-eyed youngster cast adrift and woefully naive in the seedy world. The performances are all strong enough to provide several impressive humane moments, but none of the characters feels particularly well-developed, preventing the film carrying the emotive weight and intrigue it promises. Ultimately See How They Fall isn't articulate or dynamic enough to achieve all its goals, but it's still an appealing, peculiar little film that hints at the greater things to come from Audiard.
Marx (Jean-Louis Trintignant), a homeless old gambler, starts to get followed by a dumb young man, named Frederic (Mathieu Kassovitz), who's only looking for a friend. Marx starts using Frederic's loyalty to him to his advantage and they start collecting money for criminals.
I was expecting a more amateur effort from Jacques Audiard, but it was pretty good. Mathieu Kassovits gives a great performance as Frederic/Johnny and the cinematography is like something you would expect from a movie directed by the Dardenne brothers or Alejandro Gonzalez Iņarritu.
Its disguised as a crime drama, but its actually more a black comedy in my opinion. Its definitely worth a watch.
I'd recommend it to people who liked either "Amores Perros", "In Bruges", or "The Guard".