“From low level”, the gropings of a little thug

From low floor *

by Yassine Qnia

French film, 1 h 27

To some, the gap between a dream life and the real thing seems more insurmountable than to others. This is the case of Mehdi, a thirty-something whose future looks like a dead end. For a long time, he pierced the safes of companies in industrial zones. An activity without glory that he practices with a few friends with horizons as blocked as his own. With this stolen money, he was able to buy his mother a small house in the village where she comes from. But she does not make up her mind to leave: her whole life is in Aubervilliers and in the apartment she shares with her son.

→ READ. Films and series, views of filmmakers on the suburbs

Despite the love he has for his mother, Mehdi blames her presence for the failure of the couple he formed with Sarah. A surprise pregnancy had prompted them to live together, but their income did not allow them to take an apartment for both. With the dematerialization of money, thefts in warehouses on the outskirts of the suburbs pay less and less for ever-increasing risks. Mehdi who hesitates on the direction to give to his life nevertheless has a certainty: he wants to live with Sarah, returned to settle with his parents, and with their little one year old boy with whom he wishes to fully play his role as father.

In love and proud

“From low floor is the story of a man as in love as he is proud, who lives very badly in the situation in which he finds himself », Explains Yassine Qnia who does not bother to make him sympathetic. He specifies that Mehdi must do ” the sorting out between his self-esteem and his love for Sarah. Yet the film’s center of gravity is not clear. Like its hero, the feature film, sober and modest to the point of austerity, seems to hesitate on the path to follow, or is committed to it in a way too darting.

There remains the nuanced interpretation of Soufiane Gerrab which gives Mehdi an ambivalence, between tender charm and threatening nervousness even in his amorous reconquest. Like Souheila Yakoub (Sarah), the actor imposes his talent from film to film. Social Chronicle, From low floor also paints the picture of petty thugs in a deprived suburb. Around Mehdi gravitate his lifelong friends, Thibault and M’Barek, whom he embarks on his burglaries. More lucid than him, they are determined to take the tangent, whereas for him, prisoner of old patterns forged in precariousness, to enter the right way would be to admit his failure.


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