Presented at the 2020 Venice Film Festival, The Third War makes a pretty early bet on overcoming the trauma of the 2015 attacks. Giovanni Aloi’s film brings Anthony Bajon, Karim Leklou and Leïla Bekhti into Operation Sentinel, this anti-terrorist military battle that brings many armed soldiers on the loose. on the streets. An interesting approach that prompts us to wonder if a lack of perspective on current events is ultimately not a strength.
“WE ARE AT WAR”
Soldiers, low-angle shots, stylized parallax effects on buildings… in one of The Third War’s main series, Italian director Giovanni Aloi presents his main character troupe with a sense of iconography that ‘one would swear by a Michael Bay film. However, the expected effect is the opposite of the reference. The bodies are not highlighted by camera angles, but engulfed by an anxiety-provoking Paris, a reflection of their total helplessness.
Present in France during the 2015 attacks, the young filmmaker (which is the first feature film) sees how the capital’s landscape suddenly absorbs all the terror of Manuel Valls’ “war So, the story without warning throws us into the deep end, alongside Léo (the brilliant Anthony Bajon), a disadvantaged young man who seeks order, and who thinks he has found it with the army. While she has just finished her class, she accepts the Sentinel mission, this operation formed after the Charlie Hebdo attack, with Hicham (Karim Leklou) and Yasmine (Leïla Bekhti).
Hosted by an absolutely flawless cast, The Third War effortlessly manages to translate the paranoid state of mind, which has overtaken the country as a whole, but which is treated through its characters like a flagged sample. By associating the smallness of its warriors with Parisian architecture made as pathetic as it is falling apart, the film embraces a chilling chill. Despite the sci-fi explosions of Gagarin, or the grisly one from The Night Devoured the World, Giovanni Aloi’s postulates vigorously prove that Paris is still a perfectly suited setting for genre cinema.
And besides the great power of feature films to think about in this way. The Third War completely adapts its serene staging, but with minor elements of flamboyance, with the soul of a character convinced as the new GI Joe. While we’re promised a suspenseful 24-hour thriller, the production is deceptive, adopting long fixed shots to accentuate the immobility of these dormant soldiers, forced to watch and wait for orders in an endless chain of command (one would think specifically of a sad sequence image). the infinite in the subway).
LIVE IN LEKLOU
Taking over a neat and tense 1h30, Giovanni Aloi’s approach impresses with his mastery, which catches the roar of anger, and desperation locked in a pressure cooker on the verge of explosion. Its tragic heroes are trapped in suffocating silence, where their search for meaning is coupled with other issues, such as the condition of women in the army. We’re sorry that the film yields some perks, such as a sub-plot around the villain’s restored laptop, which is only used for Leo to dismantle his mood without great finesse, which the images have transmitted perfectly.
The Third War also suffers from a bit of overzealousness, carried away by its desire to penetrate the souls of its characters and their ultra-secure thinking, even if that means getting lost in them sometimes. But we probably owe this odyssey less to the director than screenwriter Dominique Baumard, writer Le Bureau des Légendes and co-director of Les Méchants de Moloud Achour.
However, we can’t take away from the feature film, despite some awkward, unstoppable sense of immersion. Glued to its protagonist’s terrified body, Aloi stared into their eyes firmly, at the concentrated gaze that seemed to discern the threat at every street corner.
And although he carefully avoided referring to overly specific political contexts, the Third War did not blind him to the scope of the viewpoints he took. Without ever judging the ideals of the soldiers being filmed, neither does the camera exist to praise the merits of Operation Sentinel. Famas armed soldiers may have become a normative element in our daily lives, this feature film raises the question of the impact , the fear they cause among the.
For the first feature film to be so square andn dry, one might be surprised to see filmmakers reach this level of maturity in staging this kind of subject, here haunted by questions rather than by preconceived statements. . And by condensing all that magma in the crippling chaos of demonstrations in its final act, The Third War proves that we’re up against a promising director who can’t wait to see what’s next.