Review: Let’s Get Lost
- For his second feature film, François Pirot has chosen a quintet of extraordinary actors who harmonise wonderfully, reading off a screenplay with surrealist undertones
The co-screenwriter of Joachim Lafosse’s powerful movies Private Lessons [+see also:
interview: Jacques-Henri Bronckart
interview: Joachim Lafosse
film profile] and Private Property [+see also:
film profile], among other works, and the director of numerous well-received shorts and one first feature film, Mobile Home [+see also:
film profile], which won the Youth Jury Prize at the 2012 Locarno Film Festival, François Pirot is establishing himself - by way of Let’s Get Lost [+see also:
interview: François Pirot
film profile], presented in a Swiss premiere at the Geneva International Film Festival (GIFF), after being selected for the Saint-Jean-de-Luz International Film Festival’s international competition - as an essential author within the Belgian film landscape. Imbued with an offbeat sense of humour and a particular form of poetry which are part and parcel of the so-called flat country’s DNA, Let’s Get Lost speaks of our fragility and the necessity of reconnecting with our inner needs in an increasingly homogenous society.
François Pirot’s second feature film tells a seemingly absurd story about Mathieu (Jérémie Renier), a small entrepreneur crushed by his boss’s (Jean-Luc Bideau) demands and suffocated by stress which he’s finding ever more difficult to contain. One day, without any kind of warning or explanation, he walks into the forest surrounding his house and decides to stay there, heedless of the consequences of his acts. Regularly visited by his neighbour (Samir Guesmi), his wife (Suzanne Clément), and finally by his boss Guy and his depressive father (Jackie Berroyer), Mathieu becomes an oracle, of sorts, who stirs up profound and revolutionary feelings in those who question him.
François Pirot seems to observe and home in on (his decision to shoot his protagonist in the woods as if framed by a Polaroid proving interesting in this sense), the inception of a post-pandemic society on the slide (represented by his five main actors), which, after being forced to slow its pace and withdraw within itself, is no longer able to revert back to previous standards.
Disorientated and affected by Mathieu’s radical stance, the people around him reveal themselves to be increasingly clumsy and awkward, unable to dream up any other future than the one society has mapped out for them. Obsessed by a mainstream form of well-being, gifted to them, as if by miracle, by Eastern philosophies which have been trivialised in order to obtain immediate results, or by adventurous travels to far-off places, the film’s protagonists are condemned to failure, imprisoned in a world which doesn’t want them to dream. The director’s decision to situate his actors in houses with huge windows opening out onto luxuriant nature, like goldfish in their bowls, is interesting in this sense. Despite being fully aware of their malaise, Mathieu’s life companions can’t conceive of the possibility that happiness is within arm’s reach. Instead, they insist on looking for abstruse solutions, making radical plans which are inevitably doomed to failure: the protagonist’s wife dreams of disappearing into the horizon with her Tai Chi instructor who still lives with his mum, while the only escape his neighbour can find is to resign from his job in order to seek out adventure, his bag slung over his shoulder, before returning to his wife with his tail between his legs.
Let’s Get Lost is a veritable social satire which points a finger, albeit humorously, at a weakened society which dreams of breaking free from increasingly obsolete norms.
Let’s Get Lost is produced by Tarantula Belgique, Tarantula Luxembourg and Switzerland’s Box Productions. TVCO International Distribution are handling international sales.
(Translated from Italian)
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