La dune [The Dune] (2013)

La dune
Director: Yossi Aviram
Writer: Yossi Aviram
Cast: Niels Arestrup, Lior Ashkenazi, Guy Marchand, Emma de Caunes, Moni Moshonov, Mathieu Amalric
Part of: identities Festival
Seen on: 20.6.2015

Plot:
After breaking up with his girlfriend because he can’t see himself having children and thus tells her to get an abortion, Hanoch (Lior Ashkenazi) goes on a trip from Israel to France where he starts to basically stalk police officer Reuven (Niels Arestrup). Reuven works in Missing Persons and is ready for retirement after the catastrophic end to a case he worked. But then Hanoch is found, without any ID and refusing to talk, wandering in the dunes near a beach and Reuven is tasked with figuring out who he is.

Unfortunately, La dune proved to be the bland ending to this year’s identities Festival. It didn’t start off badly, but it never manages to build up any tension or make me care for any of the characters.

la-dune[SPOILERS]

La dune tries very hard to make the connection between Hanoch and Reuven a mystery, but to me it was so absolutely clear that Reuven was Hanoch’s father, right from the start, that I was mostly irritated by the persistent  pretense that we just couldn’t know what Hanoch is doing with Reuven.

Since the movie’s main source of tension therefore fell flat for me and I never really started to care for any of the characters, the film became an exercise in boredom. I even fell asleep for a few minutes inbetween.

la-dune1The film does have a few strengths: the cast was excellent and their performances wrangled everything they could get from apparently endless scenes of brooding. And Aviram beautifully works with suggestions – if the story had been a little less predictable, it would have been a joy to re-watch the film and see where he already hinted at the ending. But since I called the reveal so early, hints lost their revelatory power and rather became proof over and over again that I was right with my hunch.

Altogether the film wasn’t bad, but neither was it very good. It just was extremely tame and somewhat flavorless. I already know that a year from now, I will barely remember having seen it at all.

la-dune2Summarizing: Oh well.

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