French Film Festival Review: Boomerang

French Film Festival Review: Boomerang

A 40-year-old divorcee obsessed with discovering the truth behind his mother’s drowning 30 years ago, takes his sister on a trip to where their mother died.

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(The trailer above does not have subtitles, however this film will screen with English subtitles during the Festival)

Boomerang seems to be an odd title for a French drama. I can only assume it hints at the old adage that truth often comes back to bite you. It combines drama, family conflict and the search for honesty, but is not entirely successful.

Antoine (Laurent Lafitte) is a 40-year-old divorcee who is obsessed with discovering the truth behind his mother’s drowning which occurred when he was 10. He takes his sister, Agathe (Melanie Laurent), along on a trip to the island where their mother died. There he begins to discover that events don’t add up: for example, her body was washed up 10 kilometres across the bay, and they also both slept at a servant’s house the night before her death.

Antoine tries to solve the mystery as a means to purge his inner demons. He eventually clashes with his authoritarian father (Wladimir Yordanoff), who uses his surliness to cover up a secret from that dreadful day. Meanwhile, Antoine’s grandma (Bulle Ogier) may have her own secrets to hide and there’s no other way for the son/grandson to get at the truth than to confront his family head on.

I found this film hard going at times. There were obvious flaws in the plot – for example, Antoine could have spoken to the police or searched newspaper articles for leads to help him in his investigation. Also, the pace of the film did not build until the last 20 minutes which caused the remaining 80 minutes to drag.

Lafitte’s character became tiring very quickly. He seemed to be playing on one note (however this could have been the script’s fault). He does redeem himself at the end of the film and, along with the father, provide some of the film’s riveting moments.

Laurent fares somewhat better and is a sympathetic, caring sister who tries to help her brother but is left exasperated.

Wladimir Yordanoff and Bulle Ogier provide solid work but inadequacies in the script only allow them to appear one dimensional.

Overall, a potentially excellent premise that did not deliver completely.

Reviewed by Barry Hill
Twitter: @kinesguy

Rating out of 10:  4

Boomerang will screen on 2, 15 & 16 April 2016 for Alliance Française French Film Festival, which runs 31 March – 24 April 2016 exclusively at the Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas.

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