“South Sentinel”, a success led by the sexy Niels Schneider

Niels Schneider once again proves his great talent in this first film by Mathieu Gerault.

As a tester of look and form, it is rare to say that the first film returns to its full unity, to a form of evidence, both objectively and rhythmically. It is for south guard By Mathieu Girault, an unstoppable encounter between a subject (the reintegration of French soldiers) and a literary genre (thriller). While American cinema testimonies have proliferated for several decades on the subject, the fate of French soldiers returning from combat and subsequently alienated from civilian life is a blind spot in French cinema (one can only cite see the country from the Coleen Sisters as a recent study on the subject).

Returning from Afghanistan after a fatal ambush, soldier Christian Lafayette (Niels Schneider) attempts to resume a path of normalcy torn between the petty dealings of his adopted brother Munir (Sufyan Khamsi) and the shocks of the field. Renewed battles. While his meeting with a nurse (India Poetry) offers him the outline of a brighter future, a mysterious case of opium smuggling is likely sponsored by his commander (Denis Lavant) during the conflict.

solid film

Awakening the uncompromising classic of ’70s Sidney Lumet thriller films, south guard It is a thriller like an intricate study of the tortured souls of soldiers returning to France. This is the great strength of the film, as it manages to blend the two scenes with equal precision without weakening the other. Certainly in a less stylized and crude way, Mathieu Girol also looks to James Gray cinema in the way it depicts the blood ties and extreme fragility of these male characters. Like an embarrassing history scene in which Niels Schneider awakens the distant memory of lost lover Joaquin Phoenix in two lovers.

Stunning every second of the film, Niels Schneider appears charged with a heavy but poignant legacy since the tragic death of Gaspard Ulliel: to remain the only actor of his generation capable of such diversity, mixing in a synchronized gesture with extreme resistance. vulnerability. Beautiful Evebe Once in Dolan and Gonzalez (Imaginary pets, midnight meetings), lovers hanging in Morette (The things we say, the things we doAnd at the same time a small strike on Harare (black diamond), the actor knows how to do everything and south guard It illustrates a little more the enormous opportunity that French cinema should be able to watch in action on its screens.

south guardin theaters April 27.

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