April 24, 2015

Fighters (2014)

Fighters (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Thomas Cailley
Country: France

Movie Review: Debutant filmmaker Thomas Cailley did a respectable job in “Fighters” (also known by the moronic title “Love at First Fight”), a breezy romance set in a small French seaside town during summertime. Yet, I must admit I expected some more from a film that collected four prizes in Cannes, three C├ęsar awards, and the Prix Louis Delluc for best first film, among others. After the death of his father, the adroit Arnaud (Kevin Azais) decides to help his brother in the family business. Still, he hasn't completely decided if he wants to stay or join the army whose recruitments are taking place in his hometown. All the doubts will be dissipated when he comes across with Madeleine (Adele Haenel), a quirky girl who wants to join the army’s summer course in order to prepare herself for entering the hardest fight regiment. Madeleine is the soul of the film – impatient, restless, obsessive, physically strong, reactive to the minimum confrontation, and seductive. In turn, Arnaud is the heart of the film – calm, patient, protective, mindful, methodic, friendly and extremely generous. Heart and soul become one in the end, giving the best they have to help each other. An affable chemistry can be felt between the young couple who eventually finds their ways for smiling, even after an adventurous final episode where their lives were threatened. Cailley suavely portrays everything in a guileless way, impelling us to feel empathy for the protagonists. His strategy culminates in a heartening finale where vows of a fresh start are assured. Adele Haenel’s performance was colossal and “Fighters”, despite its many charms, sinned for lacking more ambition and for not having explored the adventure a bit further.

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