SINK OR SWIM
Three and a half stars
Director: Gilles Lellouche
Starring: Mathieu Amalric, Guillaume Canet, Jean-Hugues Anglade
Operating time: 122 minutes
Verdict: Ridiculous, however enjoyable
Synchronised swimming hasn’t been this common with filmmakers since Esther Williams’ aquamusical heyday within the 1940s and 50s, though the present — tubby, balding, male — exponents do it primarily for laughs.
Scorching on the heels of the British comedy Swimming With Males, wherein a bunch of middle-aged misfits eggbeater their approach round points of recent masculinity, comes Sink Or Swim, a French variation on the identical theme.
Each movies take their inspiration from a real-life workforce of fortysomething Swedes who shaped an newbie synchronised swimming workforce “as a protest in opposition to the meaningless of life” and who have been the topic of an acclaimed 2010 documentary.
You’ve received at hand it to the Stockholm Artwork Swim Gents, few issues seize the absurdity existence as eloquently as hairy-legged, knobbly-ankled underwater ballet.
Nevertheless it’s the seriousness with which they set about mastering the talents required that provides the premise its comedic spine.
When Swimming With Males, starring Rob Brydon as a person within the midst of a midlife disaster, was launched, earlier this yr, the distributors dubbed it “The Full Monty in Speedos.”
Comparisons to unlikely underdog sports activities comedies reminiscent of Cool Runnings, a couple of Jamaican bobsleigh workforce making their debut on the Winter Olympics, equally apply.
The French model of the story is rougher across the edges than its English counterpart and that provides it a bit of extra traction.
In marked distinction to Brydon’s tightly wound accountant, Mathieu Amalric’s depressive househusband is wild-eyed, dishevelled, and over medicated.
The character who’s fighting anger administration points (Guillaume Canet) feels convincingly risky and not one of the workforce members minimize the “idiot” (Philippe Katerine) a lot slack.
Rounding out the primary solid is a tragic previous rocker (Betty Blue’s Jean-Hugues Anglade) who has been lowered to performing in bingo halls and a pool salesman (Benoit Poelvoorde) with no clients.
Not like its English-speaking contemporaries, Sink Or Swim doesn’t really feel the necessity to be a part of all of the dots.
Director Gilles Lellouche has sufficient confidence in his viewers to allow us to fill within the character’s backstories. It’s an strategy that makes what revelations there are really feel, if not fully contemporary, then at the very least stunning.
Sink or Swim has fewer nips and tucks than your common feel-good comedy. And that’s a big a part of its attraction.
Sink Or Swim opens July 18