Written by: Sam Rhodes, Special to CC2K
Fanboy Comics Creative Director Sam Rhodes gives this 2005 drama a thumbs-up.
Emmanuel Carrere directs this adaptation of his own novel, La Moustache, creating one of the most odd, funny, and disturbing films I have ever seen. My brother recommended the film to me (thanks, Ben!) and suggested that I simply watch it and not read anything about it, including the Netflix synopsis paragraph. I did and I really enjoyed the movie. In this review I hope to talk to you a little about the movie without actually describing what it’s about. I will most likely fail, but it’s like Abe Lincoln said, “Does this beard make me look fat?”
La Moustache, starring Vincent London and the beautiful Emmanuelle Devos, is tangentially, an exploration of a modern, settled-but-not-stale relationship, and, more directly, it is the story of Marc (London) losing his grasp on reality. His unraveling begins in a bath tub as he decides on a whim to shave the mustache he has worn for the past 15 years (see how I’m failing already). From there we are plunged into an ocean of disturbing reveals and confounding twists for both Marc and the audience alike. London’s acting is subtle yet powerful as he negotiates the relationship drama and the psychological torment in a completely natural and understated manner. Playing his wife, Devos also does an incredible job with the script which must have proved challenging. Like London, she maintains a similar grounded subtlety even as the complexity of the story opens into a sea of disorienting twists and turns. The theme music from Philip Glass opens the film with an intensity that seems humorous and overly dramatic, but we are instantly aware that there is something dark below the surface and soon we begin to see that it goes quite deep, dangerously so. Each time that the theme recurs, we are pulled farther and farther into the depths of this man’s mind, and, like London’s character, we soon begin to feel completely bewildered, forgetting which way leads back to the top. This thrilling suspense film will have you guessing all the way through to the bizarrely intense conclusion. The camera work and the carefully chosen shots are by turns beautiful and straightforward, only adding to the psychological uncertainty that makes this film so powerful. The script itself depends less on dialogue and more on specific camera shots, as well as the talent of the actors and actresses who tell much of the story with mere facial expressions and body language.
La Moustache is engaging, well-paced, and will have you hanging on every word, and, in some cases, rewinding if you miss even the slightest syllable. It is an interesting exploration of the mind of a middle-aged man dealing with crisis of identity. It’s also streaming instantly on Netflix, so what are you waiting for? Dive into La Moustache and see if you can find your way back to the surface.
Sam Rhodes is the Creative Director of Fanboy Comics, an independent comic book publishing company based in Los Angeles, Calif. For more interviews, blogs, and reviews by Sam and the FBC staff, check out the Fanboy Comics website at FanboyComics.net or sign up for the e-newsletter, The Fanboy Scoop, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.