Blonde Animals (Maxime Matray, Alexia Walther, 2018)
Blonde Animals is a beast of its own kind, a sui generis film where writer-directors Maxime Matray and Alexia Walther seem to have thrown every single insane idea they came up with, a movie so outrageous it will scare some viewers and alienate the rest. Something of a road movie, a gay-friendly buddy film or an on-the-run farce, Blonde Animals is a movie that defies any categorisation. It’s too scatological to consider it art house and too bizarre to label it as a broad comedy. As in all comedies, some jokes work better than others, and some jokes just ruin the whole thing—there are a headless corpse, a hypnotist dog and a fan-club president who has all the answers, among other bizarre ideas, but the inclusion of a sect that glorifies coprophagia, on the other hand, feels more childish and provocative than necessary.
Thomas Scimeca is Fabien, an amnesiac has-been actor who also suffers from kleptomania. Scimeca plays him as a charming dork who smiles goofily every time he doesn’t understand what’s happening. And that’s basically all the time. The movie introduces Fabien in media res in order to make the audience feel as disorientated as him. The viewers have no idea what’s going on and who everyone is, let alone him. It doesn’t help that Fabien’s surrounded by characters that don’t behave like regular people either. Fabien encounters a long series of odd people on the way, including a gay soldier who becomes his friend or, worse, his partner in crime.
Underneath all this insanity, there lies a sadder story about a man who can’t overcome the trauma of killing his old girlfriend in a car accident. But if Blonde Beasts is never over-sentimental and doesn’t betray its odd personality, like Diamantino, where its (honest) concerns about the world feel out of place within all the absurdity, it’s because, even in its poignant moments, there’s room for some crazy stuff. When Fabien comes to terms and realises how disastrous his life has become, three cats played by humans join him and share their opinions because why the hell not? Because Blonde Animals is, after all, a why-the-hell-not movie.
Consumed substances before, during and after filming
Crackers, cheese, salmon, lots of salmon, tuna, orange juice, champagne, beer, daisies, soil, weed, coke, Pepsi, wine, nicotine, vitamin C, vitamin D, all the vitamins, antidepressants, oxycodone, ecstasy, and human excrements. Yes, human excrements.
Original title: Bêtes blondes
Directed by Maxime Matray, Alexia Walther | 2018 | France, Switzerland
Main cast: Thomas Scimeca, Basile Meilleurat, Agathe Bonitzer, Youssef Hajdi, Alyzée Lalande, Pierre Moure