Black River: masterful Vincent Cassel [Critique]

Zonca signs a chaotic but fascinating film, dominated by the composition bigger than life by Vincent Cassel.

Released in July 2018, black river divided the critics. You will be able to make your own opinion by finding it this evening on France 2.

Could it be the passage of fifty? After Gauguin – Voyage from Tahiti and before The world is yours, two films in which he assumes his age by exaggerating the (tired) trait, the flamboyant Vincent Cassel is unrecognizable in this thriller by ghost Erick Zonca: slightly hunchbacked, greasy hair, dirty beard, puffy eyes, he portrays a commander alcoholic and cradingue police (François Visconti, what a name!) next to which the depressive antiheroes of Olivier Marchal would almost look like angels. Cassel eats the screen even if it means becoming its main object and relegating the rest to the background. It is the singularity, assumed, of an unfriendly film in which everyone pulls their mouths and wears a more or less opaque mask: that of the mother in pain for Kiberlain (she reported the disappearance of her son on which will investigate Visconti) and that of the intrusive neighbor for Romain Duris (the ex-private teacher of the disappeared).

Ambiguous at will

Like Marchal, but less caricatural, Zonca favors character-based narratives at the expense of the somewhat unstable plot – some narrative leads like Visconti’s son’s plunge into the drug trade are left unresolved. The risk of dropping out is great, but the increasingly complex relationship between Cassel and Kiberlain feeds a growing fascination for this rickety thriller whose rather dizzying outcome comes at the right time to reward the assiduous spectator.

Vincent Cassel – The Emperor of Paris: “I had the impression of making a vintage Mesrine”

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