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HOFF 2023

Critique : Pensive


- Dans ce qui s’avère être un des meilleurs slashers, de mémoire récente, Jonas Trukanas va loin et dérange fortement, en s’appuyant sur le genre de complexité psychologique qui vous hante encore après

Critique : Pensive

Cet article est disponible en anglais.

If the idea of a Lithuanian slasher still sounds somewhat odd, it really shouldn’t. Jonas TrukanasPensive [+lire aussi :
interview : Jonas Trukanas
fiche film
, recently shown at HOFF, is a well-made, well-acted film that delivers just the right amount of genre clichés to relax its audience, and then disturbs the crap out of them with the kind of psychological complexity that lingers long after all the blood has been drained.

It’s a chiller that really believes in delayed gratification, taking its sweet time to unfold. After graduating, a group of kids are looking to the future with hope – they even have an up-and-coming star athlete in their midst. When their party plan falls apart, it’s time for the class loser (Šarūnas Rapolas Meliešius, amazing) to finally step up, setting his sights on a remote cabin. It’s not perfect: there are some creepy wooden statues around and a horrific story recalled by the only student who paid attention in school. “I don’t want to party where someone has died,” says one of them, disarmingly. But there are fights to be had, romances to be continued and booze to be drunk, not to mention the fact they might not see each other again. It’s time to put on that slutty nun costume and dance.

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As entertaining as it all sounds, Pensive isn’t just another take on human stupidity and evil that’s always lurking, just waiting for an excuse. And it’s mostly because of these characters. One of them impressively proceeds to be high throughout the whole thing, occasionally apologising for all the vomit – it’s as if Trainspotting’s Spud got even more confused. Its protagonist is self-centred, jealous of just about everyone and dying for some attention. His classmates might not like him, but it doesn’t automatically turn them into villains or bullies. In fact, they might have a point. That heartwarming underdog story we all love so much – “Repeat: ‘I am fucking awesome’,” his only friend encouragingly tells him – will soon take a weird turn.

While the killer – who eventually shows up once the rave is already up and running – gets a nice little backstory, too, it’s really all about these kids. About their relationships, their problems, about that constant teenage fight for acceptance and popularity that now, looking back, feels simply exhausting. For all its gloriously exaggerated kills – murder by sauna! – there is something very true and sad about this film.

Trukanas – who, based on this alone has a lot to offer modern genre – still believes in people, it seems, but he also sees them for who they are, and let’s face it, real heroes are hard to come by. If a hero falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Or does it simply mean that the title is up for grabs? What a twisted, dark riot of a film this is.

Pensive is a Lithuanian production staged by Cometos and Reason8, with the latter also handling the international sales.

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(Traduit de l'anglais)

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