‘Comment c’est loin': Film Review

French rappers Orelsan and Gringe group adult for a entrance hip-hop dramedy.

Everyone knows that a French adore cheese and wine, baguettes and cigarettes. But few people are wakeful that outward a U.S., a French are a biggest fans of hip-hop strain in a world. Turn on any cocktail radio hire in Paris and you’re firm to event on a swat song, mostly with uncensored lyrics. Only in France can we travel into a supermarket and hear Nikki Minaj’s “Anaconda” personification en chronicle originale.

Starting behind in 1995 with Mathieu Kassovitz’ La Haine, there have been a series of French films traffic in one approach or another with a internal hip-hop phenomenon, including a twin of new indies — Pascal Tessaud’s Brooklyn and Abd Al Malik’s May Allah Bless France! — that exhibit how many swat strain has turn a source of impulse for kids vital in a housing projects (or cités) surrounding Paris and other vital cities.

The latest take on a genre is Comment c’est loin (It’s so far), a deftly done rags-to-rhymes story about dual suburban losers perplexing to cut a strike strain before their benefactors lift a block on them for good. Featuring burgeoning swat stars Orelsan and Gringe — whose judgment manuscript (released underneath a name Cassuers Flowters) was a teenager prodigy final year — a film plays best when vouchsafing a gifted MCs strut their stuff, worse when it gets wrapped adult in too many comic hijinks. Still, there’s no denying a devious musical powers on arrangement here, permitting a film to find a teenager assembly during home and probable play dates in other French-speaking ‘hoods.

Set over a 24-hour duration in a exhausted Normand city of Caen, a story follows Orel (Orelsan, who co-directed along with DP-turned-filmmaker Christophe Offenstein) and his sidekick, Gringe, as they try to pattern adult adequate appetite to lay down one lane by a time a object comes up. Yet these dual goofballs — one works as a untimely motel night clerk, a other has no beneficial practice — find each forgive in a book to do anything yet rap, erratic about city in hunt of quick money and good times, while celebration and smoking their approach into oblivion.

While a comic sequences are decently destined and spasmodic funny, they can also feel overcooked and drawn out, holding divided from what’s truly of seductiveness here: examination a dual stars flex their rhyming skills on screen. An opening strain called “Stupider than Stupidity” gives us a spirit of what they can do, as does an considerable freestyle event that reveals how a twin bending adult with a set of up-and-coming producers (Ablay and Skread), who motionless to behind a lazy partnership for approach too long. But afterwards we have to wait all a approach until their final series — a super wily “Incomplete” — to comprehend a tour was arrange of value it, yet would have been even improved had strain played a larger purpose throughout.

Orelsan — who raps in a faux-lazy character and looks eternally like he only got out of bed — has tons of glamour and a jokester capabilities of early Eminem. He’s been indicted of misogyny in a past, generally for a self-released lane entitled “Dirty Slut” that had many Frenchies in an uproar. The women in Comment c’est loin are really given brief shrift, yet a using wisecrack involving Gringe’s poser SMS coop companion (who turns out to be Orelsan) shows how many these dual goofballs might be softies during heart, seeking a arrange of love they were never means to get during home.

Both co-directing and portion as cinematographer, Offenstein (Blood Ties) uses copiousness of colorful widescreen setups to make a many out such helplessly lifeless surroundings. Caen is positively a distant cry from Compton, but, by a filmmakers’ eyes, it becomes a place where hip-hop lives.

Production companies: Nolita Cinema, Les Canards Sauvages, Cinefrance, Orange Studio, Wagram, No Fear Prod
Cast: Orelsan, Gringe, Seydou Doucore, Claude Urbiztondo Llarch
Directors: Orelsan, Christophe Offenstein
Screenwriters: Stephanie Murat, Christophe Offenstein, Orelsan
Producers: Olivier Poubelle, Maxime Delauney, Romain Rousseau
Director of photography: Christophe Offenstein
Production designer: Frederique Doublet
Costume designer: Alica Cambournac
Editor: Jeanne Kef
Composer: Skread, in partnership with Orelsan and Alexis Rault
Casting director: Tatiana Vialle

In French

91 minutes

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