Cannes 2022: “Men” by Alex Garland and the new film by the Darden brothers

Cannes’ boat slowly comes to shore, but that’s not the end of our relationship. Michał Walkiewicz has seen the Darden brothers’ latest film, and, as he says, there is something to come. Ewelina Leszczyńska isn’t in Cannes, but who cares about those details? The projected show presented in the “Men” section of directors every week by Alex Garland (“Anihilacja”, “Ex Machina”) was seen in Warsaw, at the press presentation. Read our reviews.


“blood ties”
Author: Michał Walkiewicz

The Darden brothers recovered. I would add something like “Finally – finally!” , but let’s say diplomatically that in their kingdom of films I never felt at home. I’m not talking about the form that allowed them to survive the lean years among Cannes’ pets (“Stranger Girl” and “Little Ahmed” sound like films “Waiting”), but about the form that earned them the reputation of conscientiousness in Europe – Cinema and Two Golden Palms . The story of “Tori i Lokita”, about immigrants wandering between Belgian social workers and gangsters from Liege, remains a fictional variant cinema ferretIt is in crystal clear condition. But also the surprisingly subtly told social thriller in which, apart from the classic, Dardennowski RiGCze, someone’s life is on the line.

The film begins with an interrogation scene in which social workers attempt to establish a relationship between 16-year-old Lukita (Mbundu Guili) and 12-year-old Tori (Pablo Shiles). Although our sympathies are on the side of the protagonist testifying before the commission, her story about her little brother adds nothing. As sympathetic and meticulous as a road roller, officials are not fooled either, they demand a DNA test, and Toure and Lukita – immigrants from Cameroon and Benin, whose fates collided with each other on a boat off the coast of Europe – are slowly drawn towards the criminal underworld. The Dardenne uses one of their favorite narrative tricks and flings the scenes right in the middle of the action. They lead us through the protagonists’ daily routines with the help of fine moralistic micro-scenes, and make us infer the depth of the swamp from scraps of conversations, barely noticeable gestures and from familiar political and social context. The swamp would quickly cover them completely.

Betim (Alban Okaj), the local mafia who chases drug tore around town, puts Lukita underground on a marijuana plantation that resembles a glowing concrete maze. The moment a girl walks into a room the size of a broom closet, complete with a microwave oven, a pile of moldy sheets and an old TV, it will be a journey through the first circle of hell in another movie. But the Darden brothers do not write (and do not think) in such language – they are not interested in sweeping metaphors, but concretely and in detail.

You can read the full review of “Tori et Lokita” by Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne on the movie card here.


Review of the movie “Men” Der. Alex Garland

“mad men”
Author: Ewelina Leszczyńska

Half of you know this feeling. Anxiety on the verge of panic – when you walk alone in the woods, you realize that you have companionship. An accelerated pace and a frantic search for an item to be used as a weapon in the event of a confrontation. Trying to guess the man following you: an assailant ready to attack or a bystander unaware of your fear? Never mind, because the adrenaline rush leads it all to an atavistic choice between “running” and “fighting”. Most of these situations end with a sigh of relief. In “Men,” Alex Garland extracts the abstract from the rest.

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Don’t be fooled. The stunning landscapes and wild greenery of the English countryside serve the director as the setting for a horror film like the red-walled mansion that recalls Shakespeare’s times. There, far from the noise of the city, Harper (Jesse Buckley) wants to recover from the death of her husband. An exchange of awkward compliments with Jeffrey (Rory Kinnear), a curious, tooth-dried homeowner, sets the stage for a horror fest that the hero will soon enjoy. And when Garland puts a shoe on our throats—telling Harper to watch James (Paap Essied) fall into a suicide flight—it will squeeze him to the climax of the bloodbath, which David Cronenberg never dreamed of. You have been warned.

The creator of “Ex Machina” carefully doses information about his heroine. In a series of brief flashbacks, she identifies the source of the trauma that will radiate her whole life, such as breaking her nose. Watching the self-destruction of your loved one is one thing. But grappling with accusations leads to that? It’s still not the most diabolical idea Alex Garland has ever come up with. However, Harper is not the protagonist of flogging himself. She is a woman who knows her worth and is able to respond sharply to attempts to manipulate her feelings or violence. The role of Jesse Buckley confirms once again that portraying a torn and tormented woman is her specialty. The actress brilliantly earns suffering by writing on a scale from tears running down her cheek to screaming from the depths of her bowels.

You can read the full review of Alex Garland’s The Men on the movie card here.

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