Combustible Celluloid
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With: Grégoire Ludig, David Marsais, Adèle Exarchopoulos, India Hair , Roméo Elvis, Coralie Russier, Bruno Lochet
Written by: Quentin Dupieux
Directed by: Quentin Dupieux
MPAA Rating: NR
Language: French, with English subtitles
Running Time: 77
Date: 07/23/2021

Mandibles (2021)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Fly Caper

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The last time I checked in with French filmmaker Quentin Dupieux, he told the story of a tire (Rubber). I missed his last movie, Deerskin, but here he is again with the story of a giant fly (about as big as a medium-sized dog), and the two not-very-bright guys that find her and befriend her. Manu (Grégoire Ludig) is hired for a simple job, to deliver a suitcase. He steals a car and grabs his best friend Jean-Gab (David Marsais), but before they can complete the job, they find the fly in the trunk. Jean-Gab gets the brilliant plan to train the fly to rob banks, which will make them a lot more money than if they deliver a suitcase.

Thus follows a strange series of events as the duo hijack a trailer in the middle of nowhere, accidentally burn it down, and then wind up staying with some rich people. One of them, Cécile (India Hair), has mistaken Manu for an old school friend/lover, and they take full advantage, eating their fill and continuing to train Dominique (the fly). Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue Is the Warmest Color) plays Agnès, who cooks for everyone and YELLS ALL HER DIALOGUE, a side-effect of some bizarre and mysterious accident. I found myself giggling at the weirdest things, like Manu and Jean-Gab's "toro" handshake, the unicorn bike, and the trunk that is opened with shears and closed with duct tape. Dupieux treats all this with quiet confidence, as if observing all of it with a totally blank, uninterested expression, making it all the more joyously absurd.

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