Three Dancing Slaves

"Very Good"

Three Dancing Slaves Review


The fast-moving story of a trio of tormented French brothers, Three Dancing Slaves is a mostly depressing yet ultimately uplifting peek inside a family that's falling apart fast.

The death of the family matriarch, a woman who clearly had the ability to keep her trouble-prone sons in check, has sent oldest adult son Christophe (Stéphane Rideau), middle son Marc (Nicolas Cazalé), and teenage son Olivier (Thomas Dumerchez) reeling. As the film opens on a chapter devoted to Marc (the film has one section for each brother), Christophe is in jail, Marc is hanging around with the local drug dealers, and young Olivier is most likely to be found talking to photograph of his dead mother. Dad (Bruno Lochet) is just as adrift, distant, and unable to keep control of the volatile Marc.

Marc, whose pent-up rage and pouty beauty recall a young Brando, enjoys working out, playing with his dog, and shaving. In fact, shaving -- of just about any body part you can think of -- is the film's most consistent recurring theme, suggesting a rather powerful fetish being worked out by writer/director Gaël Morel. Dad is infuriated when he finds Marc trimming his pubic hair in the middle of the living room, but errant body hair is the least of Marc's trouble when he runs afoul of the dealers and is forced to kill his own dog as punishment.

Christophe, on the other hand, symbolizes redemption. He emerges from jail and commits himself to keeping a job, even if that job is a nightmarish night shift position rubbing salt into hams at the local meatpacking plant. He manages to get promoted and find a girlfriend, even as his brothers and father keep giving him grief.

It's Olivier who turns out to have the most emotional turmoil to work out. In addition to steering clear of the scary Marc and the morose Dad and mourning his mother, he's trying to find a way out of this provincial dead-end town, perhaps in the company of his good friend and capioera partner Hicham (Salim Kechiouche). That friendship, which leads to some beautiful paragliding (not to mention some erotic shaving) is what gives the film whatever optimism it can muster.

Morel's overlapping and hopscotch plotting keeps us guessing and filling in crucial blanks, just as we would if we were trying in real life to figure out what was going on with that strange family down the street. It's an effective technique and one that survives the film's stranger agendas, not only the shaving obsession but also a light overlay of incest indicated by a scene in which the three brothers sleep together naked, limbs intertwined. Dad observes this and merely rolls his eyes and walks away. Perhaps Morel is simply showing the universal truth that all brothers have love/hate relationships. Perhaps he's hinting at more. Either way, this France is full-frontal.

Aka Le Clan, 3 Dancing Slaves.

Do the hustle.



Three Dancing Slaves

Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 16th June 2004

Box Office Worldwide: 21

Distributed by: TLA Releasing

Production compaines: TLA Releasing, Rhône-Alpes Cinéma

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 43%
Fresh: 6 Rotten: 8

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Gaël Morel

Producer: Philippe Jacquier

Starring: Nicolas Cazalé as Marc, Stéphane Rideau as Christophe, Thomas Dumerchez as Olivier, as Hicham, Bruno Lochet as The Father, as The Professor, Olivier Perez as Zora the transexual

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.