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After turning 60, working-class man Serge (G'rard Depardieu) decides to retire and is ready to reap his pensioners rewards. He runs into the implacable wall of bureaucracy after finding out that his former employers have neglected to declare his earnings. To receive full benefits he needs to go back to them and gather the missing affidavits. Encouraged by his wife, our hero climbs his old 1970s Mammoth motorcycle and sets off on a trip to recover lost wages and buried memories. As he reconnects with old friends, Serge discovers that their idea of him is vastly at odds with his self-image; salvation comes to him from his young niece, who awakens the happy poet that lies dormant inside him. The stellar cast in this road comedy in-cludes Isabelle Adjani, Yolande Moreau, Miss Ming and Anna Mouglalis.
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No more Depardieu for me, ever.
It is a story of a man who reaches his retirement age. His entire life he had a string of unremarkable jobs and now that he is retired there is barely enough money for him and his wife to live on, in spite of the fact that his wife is still working. As it turns, many of his former employers never turned in his wages report to the government and he is forced to collect affidavits from every place he used to work in order to secure the additional retirment income. So at this point the movie turns into a road trip where our hero travels cross country on his ancient motorcycle from the 70s.
As he makes his way across different cities and meets many of his former employers, friends and relatives, he also comes across con artists. There are funny parts during these adventures that are so european. I still giggle when I think of them. In addition to looking for his former employes, the main character has flashbacks about the events from his youth that he tried to forget and supress for decades. There is a sorrow that stars to uncover that puts a picture together of how a person can loose their own self and life meaning in a flicker of a moment. In the film, the story of his long supressed grief finally starts revealing itself.
For american audiences, this will be a very slow movie and therefore unexciting story. But for the patient viewers I say, watch it to the end, because the end of this film is priceless. We learn the side of the man who in his 60s finally finds his own voice and shows the world through his poem that there is wisdom that comes with age and that asking for forgiveness can bring a new sense of freedom and desire for life in the part of whatever is left of it.
Isabel Adjani, one of the most beautiful acresses of today makes a short appearances throughout the film. Her classical beauty and deep blue eyes are hypnotic. I can only think of Monica Bellucci who can rival such beauty and acting talent. I loved this movie, but then again - it is not for everyone. It requires certain sensibilites of the viewer to truly appreciate it.
Isabelle Adjani appears in the movie only several short sections with bloody face. No question Gerard Depardieu is an excellent actor. The whole story can be very interesting but it is getting bored. It's like an experimental film.
The director complained the voice recognition system. The wife talked on the phone and the phone cannot understand the pronounciation of the last name. The director put too much time on this secene.
A funny scene is a guy talked loud on the cell phone in a restaurant. The other three cusomers started weeping, obviously they listened to all his conversation.
At the beginning the coworkers gave him the the retirement gift. The supervisor gave the speech not very impressing, very routine without emotion. The gift is a 2200 piece puzzle. It is interesting. The first day of his retirement he walked around the dinning room that remind me the bears in the zoo cage.
and buy it. (I have just erased it.) Sometimes interesting, sometimes funny, I
thought at one point that they were just making it up as they went along.
Short scenes with different people, as Depardieu goes from place to place on his
motorcycle. Nothing particularly moving or all that interesting happens, I'd say.
Only slightly interesting, if you are a fan of Depardieu.