Review Les Pires – Review on FilmTotaal

Director: Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret | Script: Lise Akoka, Romane Gueret and Eleanor Gurrey| Cast: Mallory Wanecque (Lily), Timéo Mahaut (Ryan), Johan Heldenbergh (Gabriel), others | Time to play: 99 minutes | Year: 2022

“It seems that you only accept those who are in worse shape,” says a young teenager in the opening sequence of the worst. Their awkward audition interview immediately sets the tone for this striking meta-film, which approaches underprivileged children in Boulogne-sur-Mer, northern France, for the production of a social realist drama. The starting point is noble: the directors want to point out a series of pitfalls relevant to their own profession with the recreated film process. Unfortunately, they resolve conflict situations on set so unsubtly that the message seems forced and pedantic.

Lily is seventeen years old and pregnant. Ryan, much younger, struggles with angry outbursts and an unusual home situation in elementary school. Are these really the circumstances in which the directors of the worst Did they find their non-professional leads, or are Lily and Ryan just acting on set? If you’re up to the occasional director Gabriel (the seasoned Fleming Johan Heldenbergh), it doesn’t really have to matter. As long as the children know how to play the sensitive string.

When we first meet Ryan at home after his audition interview, it’s still not possible to determine if this is his real life situation or if filming has already begun. Until the camera pulls back and the team becomes visible. The late reveal creates a moment of awareness: the worst It may revolve around a fictional film crew, its protagonists acting in situations that are difficult to distinguish from reality.

For other purposes, directors Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret could have gone for an empathetic docudrama, but the worst it serves precisely to dismantle the filming process. The staging of the film within the film clearly shows which elements of the script correspond and which do not correspond to the real living conditions of the protagonists. Early on, we see Lily walking around the set with a big fake belly, while Ryan is asked to ramp up his real-life tantrums on camera.

Both situations, one staged, the other realistic, are heartbreaking examples of exploitation. Lily in her imposed role is a walking prejudice; ‘a teenager from a disadvantaged background is doomed to get pregnant’, is the flat idea behind the artificial belly. Her honest search for love and recognition does not appear in the film (-within-the-film). Ryan is a troublesome kid because he has trouble controlling his emotions, and Gabriel likes to take it up a notch for dramatic effect.

on punctual paper the worst current pitfalls of the film profession, but the effect is distressingly unsubtle. For example, it seems inevitable that Gabriel has an assistant guilty of transgressive conduct during the recording of an intimate scene. The children are tasked with rehearsing a scripted dialogue filled with profanity, and when the brilliant Maylis expresses her wish not to be involved in the filming anymore, Gabriel says that she “has nothing to decide.”

The whims of male employees are the order of the day in the movie world, but due to the ostentatious approach, teaching problem skits often have the opposite effect. The numerous small conflict situations also come at the expense of the depth of the young characters. In their most extreme form, they are passive targets of prejudice and abuse.

Fortunately, Akoka and Gueret show how it can be done towards the end. A moment of rapprochement between Gabriel and Ryan not only provides dramatic balance, but also offers a glimmer of hope that we can see beyond the sum of the problems. After all, the latter is exactly what one of the children accused the principal of him of in the opening scene.

Varsha Rai

Hi, Varsha here. I am a very passionate writer with a knack for the art of words and I hope to share my stories and information in a way that is meaningful and inspiring. At, I write mostly on latest and upcoming movies, movie reviews and everything related to movies. Catch up with me on - [email protected]
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