Sunday, February 18, 2007

A Comedy of Power (L'Ivresse Du Pouvoir)

So What're You Up To Today?

Based on a real incident in France known as the Elf Affair corporate scandal involving the French oil company, the movie opens and denies categorically that all semblance to real life is pure coincidence. As the movie unfolds with its revelation of evidence pointing to corruption at the highest levels, with kickbacks, abuse of funds, cronyism, etc sounding really familiar given our own scandal of late.

If you're expecting some high powered courtroom or investigative action, then you'll be sorely disappointed. Rather, you get a social drama instead, and given its peculiar slant towards French societal observations, I got very bored with it, finding it difficult to identify with.

Isabelle Huppert stars as Jeanne Charmant-Killman, an investigating French magistrate who is charged to look into looking at a corporation's shifty wheelings and dealings. We witness an early arrest of Humeau (Francois Berleand), the corporation's head honcho, and slowly the web of shady connections get revealed. We also see how the investigations take its toil on Jeanne, as her personal life also get affected due to threats, and the hiring of bodyguards did not go down well with her spouse.

And it rambles on and on, with little insight to investigative techniques, focusing instead on Jeanne's go-getting ways, and subtly dwelling on themes like feminism, and norms of living in a patriarchal society. I've never done a short review in a long while, but this boring movie deserves the plug to be pulled. Should appeal to the European crowd, which turned out in droves in the screening I was in today.

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