Blanche review

:. Director: Bernie Bonvoisin
:. Starring: Lou Doillon, Roschdy Zem
:. Running Time: 1:34
:. Year: 2002
:. Country: France


With its anachronistic approach to Swashbucklers, Blanche was supposed to be a provocative film that would divide the public. In spite of an impressive gallery of supporting roles, this bloated farce by Bernie Bonvoisin quickly deflates into an indigestible mixture of ineffective action and corny dialogue.

Revisiting 18th Century France with a touch of spaghetti western sauce, the film follows the journey of Blanche (Lou Doillon), a young woman and head of a band of outlaws, who seeks to avenge the murder of her parents.

The initial amusement is born of the contrast between the high rank of the Mazarin character (Jean Rochefort) and his very modern language that's full of imagery. Bonvoisin's dialogues quickly sink into an openly displayed vulgarity, as certain scenes testify. The feature film only really becomes animated when Jean Rochefort, José Garcia and Carole Bouquet take the screen by storm with a jubilant vivacity. The trio acts to their heart's content; Rochefort and Bouquet break their rather serious image with pleasure while Garcia, is a wonder. Joined by Antoine de Caunes and Gerard Depardieu, the supporting roles eclipse the main characters of Doillon and Zem, who make pale figures.

While Bonvoisin tries to launch this spectacular into a galloping pace, the ride of Blanche is handicapped by the presence of potholes in the script. The filmmaker should confine himself to social comedies; his camera approaches numerous action scenes in a confused way that defuses them. By trying to hard to modernize a genre, he ends up ruining it in this lifeless pretentious production.

  Fred Thom

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