Review: La vie avec mon pere (2005)

La vie avec mon pere (2005)

Directed by: Sebastien Rose | 110 minutes | drama, comedy | Actors: Raymond Bouchard, David La Haye, Paul Ahmarani, Hélène Florent, Julie du Page, Pierre-Antoine Lasnier, Nicolas Canuel, Benoît McGinnis, Véronique Rose, Anne Élizabeth Lapointe, Charles-Frédéric Lasnier

In some nightmares that sometimes abruptly overtake our blissful nights, we see a man of blessed age sitting in a large hall, somewhat dazed. Surrounded by other wrinkled bodies with hearing aids and clattering teeth that call bingo every once in a while, the little man, who seems very familiar to us, does not feel quite at ease. After the hellish bingo evening, from which he returns empty-handed, the little man is rolled into a tiny room, he swallows a dozen pills that together form a rainbow and he is allowed to rest in chains. Fortunately, an annoying noise interrupts this fever vision just in time. We all want to grow old. But unfortunately we cannot choose the way ourselves. Or is it?

François Agira will not easily put numbers on an organized evening. Equipped with an already high speed on the age meter, he enjoys life to the fullest. When he introduces himself, with a great sense of show, during his son’s party, we immediately know that this is a special character. He does not turn his hand to spy on his other son’s girlfriend and masturbate for a while in flight, he drives around with his wife’s axle and knows a simple way to remove wheel clamps. This behavior is not really age appropriate. His two sons, on the other hand, see life pass them by without them noticing. Patrick is an ice-cold businessman in the pharmaceutical sector who mainly runs after numbers and statistics. Paul is the pauper who dreams of writing a novel and steals his brother’s medicines to sell or use himself. Due to circumstances, the three have to live together in the family house.

This Canadian print combines an ode to life with the painful confrontation of aging. Director Sébastien Rose presents a plucky old man as the incarnate wisdom that you should profit as much as possible, but is not afraid to tackle his own position in a realistic way. Sometimes life takes drastic measures. The best moment of the film is in a sober scene in which François and his sons are stuck in the traffic. Father Agira, who has received bad news in the meantime, throws a simple but striking remark to Paul and Patrick. This is where ‘La vie avec mon père’ should have ended as far as we’re concerned. For it pained us to see a warm and enthusiastic man crushed by the open mouth of inevitable old age. That crop is still somewhere near our throats. From the moment in the car, Rose no longer conceals the painful consequences of old age. But in that one last important moment we burst out laughing uncontrollably. Thanks to a director who balances the scales of pathos and humor. For a tragicomedy, Rose pays a lot of attention to his view. The camera is very mobile at times and provides excellent pictures. A surplus that contributes to a viewable and sensitive piece of cinema. ‘La vie avec mon père’ unequivocally treads on the route of clichés, but at times also on our minds.

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