De Battre mon Coeur s'est Arrêté (The Beat That My Heart Skipped) Reviews
We meet Tom. A man that's a semi-crook and mostly does violent one time jobs for a living. He's helping out his just as crooked father sometimes, or he is helping out his friends - for business or when they need cover for cheating sessions. He is not a happy man, but playing the piano seem to uplift him a bit. He never plays it as much as he really wants to, but he is changing this during the film, as he takes up lessons.
Never a dull moment, great pace and some neat shots and scenes. Great acting and a very decent crime drama, with some mild action and thrilling moments.
7.5 out of 10 rats.
Audiard est un rÃÃ, (C)alisateur exceptionnel , j'ai trouvÃÃ, (C) Duris gÃÃ, (C)nial dans ce rÃÃ,Â´le .
Mon 1er coup de foudre avec Audiard !!!
The damaged man theme of Un Prophete and Rust & Bone is evident here as we follow the story of Tom, a man who is torn between following in his father's footsteps as a corrupt landlord or following his passion for music and becoming a concert pianist like his departed mother.
After a chance encounter with his mother's old agent, Tom is invited to audition and he then has to balance both sides of his life as he sets up a dodgy real estate deal and practices for his audition.
Romain Duris is compelling in the lead role as the conflicted Tom. Very empathetic and believable as his life just throws him curveball after curveball.
Another great film from Audiard who is now a goto director for me.
Jacques Audiard's movie "De battre mon couer s'est arrete" is film magic at its purest. Themes such as the need for expression, maturity, duality, sense vs sensibility are brilliantly portrayed in this character study. The film tells the story of a 28 year old anti-hero named Thomas Seyr(Romain Duris) who is facing constant struggle within himself. He carries the traits of his father and his late mother. The mother was a professional pianist devoted to art and his father is a juvenile semi-retired man who is engaged in criminal activity. These characteristics can be translated into sense and sensibility, a dichotomy which consistently works in symbiosis within Thomas.
The editing brings about further understanding about Thomas life. Some scenes are abruptly cut under a conversation, compared to conventional cinema. The abruptness of the editing accompanied with Romain Duris brilliant depiction of an erratic personality shows the audience a moment in a mans life at crossroads. Should he stay in the thuggish life like his father, or devote himself to the realm of music.
Thomas love relationships are divided. One is an intuitive, immoral relationship more concerned with sex than partnership; one which he shares with his work partners wife. The other is a low-key
relationship which Thomas shares with his piano teacher. They don't speak the same verbal language albeit they communicate by the language of music. The relationship with the piano teacher is the one who is lasting being in a larger context Thomas character's development from post-adolescense to adulthood. It is his journey through maturity, a recurrent theme in Audiards authorship.
As a matter of fact, Thomas is not very good at communicating at all. But he is in great need of give vent to his feelings. His communication lies in the ineffable, by fists or fingers. This is explicitly shown by his unpredictable behavior when speaking. For instance it is portrayed when he talks to his father about the fathers new girlfriend he calls her a prostitute or when he tells his working partners wife he is in love with her, which apparently he is not. He does not neccesarily have a malign agenda, it is simply that his strenuous efforts in speaking bluntly are futile.
In conclusion, one can ask if he will succeed in leaving his violent path and devote himself to the katharsis the music brings to his soul? Probably not, since he is, throughout the movie, permeated by the duality of his personality. One life which is dictated by intuition and stress compared to the other by sensibility and harmony. His personality is summarized in the last shot, which is staggeringly haunting. A close up on the face of a bleeding Thomas looking and listening to his partner playing the piano at a concert. His scars reminiscent of his violent intuitive nature and the piano music representing his sensible ideals in life.
By: Florent Fagerström
Tom (Romain Duris) is a small-time criminal that dreams of being a concert pianist. His father (Niels Arestrup) is a mid-level gangster and loan shark, and to support himself, Tom has been working as a collection agent. At first, the job seems good, but it quickly becomes unsatisfying. Once he rediscovers his love for the piano, he can't help but feel ready to change his life, and soon takes lessons with the Asian Miao-Lin (Linh Dan Pham), who is just as hard on Tom as his father. Yet, Tom can't seem to get out of his violent life, and we can't tell if it's because he's worried about being killed, or if he realizes he's just too good at it.
I could watch movies like "De Battre mon Couer s'est Arrêté" all day. There's something intriguing to me about the criminal underworld, even more so when the cameras are shaky, the actors appear to have been picked off the street, and violence serves as a part of the plot rather than trying to shock the audience. What's different about this film is that, yes, it has all of these great components, but it's unpredictable and tells a story that no other film has even attempted (well, except the original film it was based off of, "Fingers").
The streets always look grimy, filled with seedy looking people that blend into the atmosphere, and people smoke cigarettes as though it's perfectly normal. You could say "De Battre mon Couer s'est Arrêté" is a modern day film noir, except it has no boundaries.
Romain Duris is the key to the film. One of France's most underrated actors, he characterizes Tom without much sympathy, playing his neuroses' with uttermost realism with a hint of fascination for his character. He's twitchy, nearly hyperactive, and he's a wonder. It's hard to say if I ever truly liked Tom, but it's easy to agree that Duris is fascinating, and that's enough.
"De Battre mon Couer s'est Arrêté" is a great, underrated gangster movie that doesn't serve as a thriller as much as it does a character study.