It had the smell of desperation, of blood, sweat, smoke, semen and seaweed
Red fluids flew through the air. I could almost sense the smell of blood in my nostrils. Something was broken, but how bad was it? Did I really want to know? I took cover behind my scarf and threw a glance at my company waiting for him to give me a sign that it was safe to watch again.
I knew I had myself to blame. If one of the two main earns a part of his living doing illegal bare-knuckle fights, you have to assume that there will be some violence in it, no?
Luckily enough the scenes in Rust and Bone that made me whimper aren’t overly long. It’s not primarily a movie about street fighting. It’s a story about the evolving relationship between two people who both are broken in different ways, one of them physically, the other one emotionally and economically.
I’m reluctant to call it a romance, because it gives the wrong associations. There’s nothing pink or fluffy about it, there’s no fragrance of sweet strawberries and freshly changed sheets. It has the smell of desperation, of blood, sweat, smoke, semen and seaweed.
A rough watch
At times it’s a bit of a rough watch. Ali isn’t an altogether likable person, especially not in the way he treats his little son. There were moments when I just wanted to punch him in the face (hiding behind my scarf or course). The unfortunate orca trainer is easier to sympathize with, but it’s painful to see what she goes through.
The ending is a bit melodramatic, overly so according to some. But this is easy to overlook when there’s so much else that speaks for the film: the music, the cinematography, the editing and the brilliant acting performances by Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts, who does a role that is a little similar to the one in Bullhead, often appearing more like an animal than a human being.
It’s a wonderful film that I strongly recommend – even if you’re a squishy like me. Just bring something for your cover and you’ll be fine.
Rust and Bone (De rouille and d’os (Jacques Audiard, FR 2012) My rating: 4,5/5
P.S. One more thing: Is it hard or easy to make people look as if they’re crippled? I don’t know. But I was baffled at how real this looked. I could swear that Marion Cotillard had been required to made physical sacrifices for the making of this movie.