A French film-noir thriller about a series of seamy sex crimes? That could be good.
Or, it could be Bastards, the latest film from French director Clair Denis, best known for the ‘80s racial flick Chocolat, and in no danger of being best known for this muddled, murky, mess of a film that feels overlong at 80 minutes.
There’s some good imagery. The acting is okay in that New Age way, with desultory monologues and lots of barely interested sex.
I’d say the plot is a mess, but it’s really not. It’s actually a very simple plot told in a very convoluted matter, with the movie not being exactly in chronological sequence but not being careful about signalling deviations from the main timeline.
It’s like Girl With A Dragon Tattoo infused with French ennui.
The story? Well, as near as I can tell, a merchant marine (? sailor?) comes back from the sea when his brother-in-law commits suicide. He starts an investigation into matters and discovers that everything—everything and everyone sucks.
I could elaborate, but what’s the point? Each layer of degradation gives way to a deeper, more disgusting layer, all of which culminates in a pointless ending that gives nihilism a bad name.
Yeah, did not care for it. Neither did The Boy. We’d say we hated it, but it sort of drained all our energy out of us, so we couldn’t work up much more than a meh.