Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno (Abdellatif Kechiche, 2017)
I went into this knowing almost nothing about it. I’m not sure I came out knowing any more, but it was watch this or Nymphomania Volumes I and II.
It’s part of an adaptation of a novel, La Blessure, la vraie by François Bégaudeau, which I haven’t read, and it’s nearly three hours long, and there’s a sequel, Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo, which is closer to four hours, and a third part, unmade, in which Mektoub presumably shows up.
Amin (Shaïn Boumédine) was a med student in Paris but has returned to Sète for a holiday as he waits to be a screenwriter. He turns up at the house of the grandmother of his engaged friend Ophélie (Ophélie Bau) to catch her in a bonkathon with his cousin Tony (Salim Kechiouche). They dodge around what he knows and whether he will tell the fiance — who is fighting overseas — and they go for various drinks, although mainly they go to bars run by his uncles and his aunts and his cousins, and run into various other people, to whom we are introudced repeatedly even though it doesn’t help to cement their names. And he would like to photograph her goats giving birth, for the screenplay.
That isn’t a euphemism.
Various of the uncles and cousins come onto Ophélie and her friends, and they all mess about in virtually no clothes on the beach, or drive drunk to a disco. You wait for one of the young women to be forced against her will or a drunk driver to crash or Amin to finally seduce someone (but he’s walked a model Anastasia home from the disco, to talk about movies, not that we see that).
In some ways, you have to admire the way in which the film refuses to be judgmental about their sexuality and which doesn’t punish them, but you do long for more drama than Orphélie (or was it Céline?) being jealous of Tony’s infidelity even as she is unfaithful. Or for soldier boy to come home and cut someone’s balls off.
But it’s a dull movie in which the most exciting thing is whether that bloody goat will give birth.