“La Traversée” sails on the waves of living together


From Varante Soudjian

French film, 1 h 45

Léa, Mahdi, Polo, Sam and Rayane are five school dropouts with complicated family histories. Their educators, Alex and Stéphanie, decide to take them to sea for a crossing of the Mediterranean, to extract them from their daily lives and awaken their spirit of cohesion. But the project is slightly thwarted by the presence of Riton, their skipper camped by the truculent Alban Ivanov, a former BAC policeman who resigned to flee the suburbs.

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All the ingredients, although having an air of deja vu, are there to guarantee a nice moment, both funny and moving, to the spectators. The young people from the suburbs, impulsive and without filters, express themselves in a familiar register and struggle to submit to the discipline imposed by Riton, suspicious and grumpy, who does everything possible to exchange as little as possible with them, which gives rise to to comic and theatrical scenes.

It is easy to let yourself be lulled by the blue of the horizon and the sound of the waves that envelop this marine camera. The movement of the sea seems to accompany that of the emotions which grow and cross the characters, oscillating between bursts of voice, tears and joy. Their awkwardness in finding the right measure softens.

A cool and eventful getaway at sea

The masks are gradually falling and destroying the preconceived ideas that everyone harbors towards others. If the comedy loses a little coherence at the end and seems at first sight very light, it raises an interesting reflection around police violence and relations between young people from working-class neighborhoods and the police, without falling into pathos. too expected or too marked.

The film owes its effectiveness above all to Alban Ivanov, whose lively and scathing lines and glances arouse a smile almost in every shot in which he appears. A tasty game of provocations takes place between him and the young people. The shell of the skipper is chipped little by little in contact with the merry band which pushes him to confide. Riton gradually develops a modest affection for his traveling companions, making us ignore the few clichés that run through the film.


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