Borderline (2011) Movie Review – Fantastic Fest 2011
Director: Alexandre Coffre
Writer: Alexandre Coffre
Stars:François Damiens, Pascale Arbillot and Laurent Lafitte
Reviewer: Horrorphilia Jason
The Lowdown: A surprisingly very good French indie drama that’s simple and effective.
I’ll be honest after the first ten minutes of the flick I had my doubts if I was going to even enjoy it. By the end credits not only did I enjoy it, I was grinning from ear to ear with delight. This is a perfect example of a very simple story told very well.
David Pelame is just your average family man. He’s a lawyer that’s always being passed on for promotion at work because of his timid demeanor. His wife Christine is quite the opposite, she’s very outspoken and loses her job because of this. One day while walking the dog in the park, David encounters a man that’s being chased and he throws a bag he was carrying into the bushes. David retrieves the bag and discovers it contains massive blocks of cocaine along with a cell phone thats used for delivery requests. He reluctantly decides to take over the drug business and start dealing. His wife eventually finds out and she sees this an opportunity to have excitement in her life, and she takes charge of the operation. Living the life of luxery all goes well until the rightful owner of the drugs finds them, and the children and Christine’s father find out the truth.
The movie just plain works. It’s very straightforward and there’s not really any mighty twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat. I think the simplicity and “realness” of the movie actually adds to the charm. It’s all stuff you’ve seen before like montages of them spending the wealth they aquire on clothes and fancy cars and montages of them dealing the drugs to various types of customers. Eventually David becomes more confident and assertive in his real job and he gets the big promotion over his rival. When the real drug dealer finally gets into the picture I was afraid it was going to get too predictable and ruin the movie. Fortunately his role was handled very cleverly. Of course in drug dealing everything’s not always rosy so finally terrible things do start to happen but it never quite works out the way you may be expecting.
The pacing and editing of the movie is spot on. It has a very light feel to it without being comedic or cheesy. It also avoids the ultra dramatic moments that could have weighed it down. It walked a fine line and never went astray. It’s just a smart script that was excellently acted and well directed. There are many moments with the family dynamic that felt refreshing, and took it a different way then I was expecting. Also the ending was the cherry on top. I couldn’t have imagined a better way to end the flick. A nice, quirky, and quaint little film that I highly recommend.