Stefan's Review of Monsieur Lazhar
"Monsieur Lazhar" was highly praised by many critics and nominated for Best Foreign Film (Canada) at the 84th Academy Awards. The premise is quite interesting. An elementary school student finds his teacher hanged in her classroom leaving the entire school devastated. Then, an Algerian immigrant who is suffering a personal tragedy, by the name of Bachir Lazhar, is quickly hired. Apparently, he helps the students in their time of need, but he does not really. He profits from them and I truly believe could have been replaced by anyone with better intentions. The script is very choppy and sappy. The actors and the direction are all invaluable to the film, but my concerns derive from the plot. Without spoiling the movie, let's just say you cannot sympathize with anyone in this film since most of them are selfish and cruel. The plot only gives us a brief glimpse of Lazhar's personal life, and a overview of the school life which is also too short. At the end of the movie, I appreciated it for its craft, but I was not moved, inspired, nor did I gain any insight. It poses difficult questions, but does not have anything to support them. Yes, the story is unique and tries to be deep, but having me sympathize with a woman who kills herself in front of her students, and a con-artist of a teacher is too much. "Monsieur Lazhar" is a unique, poetic, and sweet tale with unexpected shallowness present.