Thursday, June 14, 2012

Random Movie Review: Monsieur Lazhar

Monsieur Lazhar (2011 French with English Subtitles)
Starring: Mohamed Fellag, Sophie Nélisse, Émillien Néron

This movie was another one like Turtles Can Fly, that gripped me early and kept me on hooked.

The movie begins with two children(Simon and Alice) in the schoolyard. Simon runs in to get milk for all of the kids. When he goes inside, he finds that his teacher has hung herself in the classroom. Simon runs to the office and the school is cleared, but not before Alice gets a view as well, thus the two children have an emotional tie to the death throughout the movie that the other children do not. It turns out that the death weighs heavily on Simon due to an earlier interaction and he blames himself.

The replacement teacher is a refugee from Algiers who has escaped a world of death himself. He has a distinct interest in the two children who saw the teacher and isn't able to drop the subject. The ensuing interactions leave the class in a state of turmoil and have a negative impact on the children. The parents aren't happy and the ensuing investigation opens up a lot of truths about the teacher and students.

Like Turtles Can Fly, the young girl did an excellent job creating a vibrant character. The cast of her(a Genie winner), Simon and M. Lazhar are a great group and make for an incredibly touching story. I give this movie an 8/10. 

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