A little empty
- Happy End review by RD
The great charm of French films is they often start slowly, building up an intimate and innocent picture of the characters and their daily lives and then the plot emerges organically out of this and everything becomes apparent.
This film nearly does it, but not quite, and dwells on some long tedious scenes that don't seem to have anything to do with the film. There were too many "what's that all about?" comments from us throughout the film.
For instance there's a scene of the Grandfather travelling along a pavement, alone in his powered wheelchair, and filmed from across a busy road with only the sound of the traffic going by. It goes on, and on, and on, before he eventually stops and has a lengthy conversation (which is unheard) with some immigrants. Just one those scenes which appear baffling and unconnected. There's lots like this, and Toby Jones acts his character well, but he hasn't got much to go on as we never really find out who his character is and what his role is.
The only worthwhile scene in the film is the touching conversation between 13 year old Eve and her grandfather in his study, lots emerge here and there is a superb understanding develops between the two.
By the end of the film, a slight understanding of the characters of this dysfunctional family is emerging, but only in small hints, and not enough to fill out a storyline. Then it ends.
If the film could be shortened (there's enough slow stuff that can be jettisoned) then this would make and excellent episode one of a series that could then go on to develop the roles of the characters such as the son with a chip on his shoulder, and then more on young Eve. There is an affair going on between Eve's father and Claire that really didn't get much coverage and could be enlarged upon.
Some advice: Fast Forward through the opening credits as they are interrupted with five long, and I mean long, scenes shot from a mobile phone. A girl in the bathroom brushing her teeth and then brushing her hair, and then gargling. Then a hamster in a cage for a long time (well it felt long), then someone sitting by a computer desk. They are incredibly annoying and don't do anything for the film.
9 out of 13 members found this review helpful.
Slower than Wood
- Happy End review by IG
Slower than wood and nowhere near as useful. We gave up on this tedious drivel way before the end, or even the middle, maybe it has a super finale we will never know or care, a complete waste of acting talent.
4 out of 6 members found this review helpful.
Hamstericide, murder, suicide and Isabelle Huppert- A comedy???????
- Happy End review by JS
Have to agree with most other reviewers that Happy End is a potentially good story spoilt by self indulgent directing.
Had to stop film after 30 mins and look it up on Wikipedia to find out what was happening. Like so many modern French films we have the entrails of family life dissected a storyline nothing like the French we know.
PS if you watch the extras you can see Isabelle Huppert smile at least twice.
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.