Who killed "Who Killed Bambi"?
Belying his track record, writer Gilles Marchand lets director Gilles Marchand down a bit with a script that doesn't give enough smarts to the would-be thriller "Who Killed Bambi?"
By LESLIE (HOBAN) BLAKE
There's a certain kind of psychological dread found in the best of Hitchcock's films. It's also seen in such French thrillers as Clouzot's "Diabolique"
and Lelouch's "La Crmonie." So it's probably no accident that it was
to Truffaut that Hitchcock explained his use of suspense.
That being said, not all French thrillers can reach the elevated level of a
"Diabolique" or even the high middle ground of "La Crmonie." But one
assumes that the writer of "With a Friend like Harry" the best comic
thriller, French or otherwise, in the last five years could. So much for
|WHO KILLED BAMBI?|
|Original title: Qui a tu Bambi?.|
Directed by: Gilles Marchand.
Written by: Vincent Dietschy, Gilles Marchand.
Cast: Sophie Quinton, Laurent Lucas, Catherine Jacob, Yasmine Belmadi, Michle Moretti, Valrie Donzelli, Jean-Claude Jay, Aladin Reibel, Thierry Bosc, Lucia Sanchez, Fily Keita, Sophie Medina, Josphine de Meaux, Lucienne Moreau, Catherine Salvini, Jean Dell, Dorothe Decoene, Alexandra Ansidei, Lisa Huynh, Anne Caillon, Franoise Pinkwasser, Dominique Charmet.
Cinematography: Pierre Milon.
Edited by: Robin Campillo.
In French with English subtitles.
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Rendezvous with French Cinema 2004|
The Time of the Wolf
Who Killed Bambi?
"Qui a Tu Bambi?" ("Who Killed Bambi"), marks the directorial debut of
"...Harry" writer Gilles Marchand. His heroine, Isabelle (Sophie Quinton), a
nave young student nurse with a vivid imagination and an Algerian boyfriend
(Yasmine Belmadi), senses something amiss in both the presence and
ministrations of the handsome Dr. Philipp (Laurent Lucas). All the nurses
find him swoony. Bambi alone claims to be unattracted to him, yet she
faints several times in his presence for no apparent reason.
So, the good (or bad) Doctor dubs her "Bambi," although a better nickname
might have been Nancy (for Nancy Drew). Quinton makes a showy debut in the
title role as a suspicious young amateur girl detective. Dr. Philipp works
his charm overtime on her and Lucas' good looks like a young Martin
Landau are slightly askew, so you're never sure if he is a good doc or a
Marchand seems to be aiming for a Cary Grant/"Suspicion" kind of "is he or
isn't he a bad guy?" scenario, but it never quite gels. Bad things do happen
to several nurses and even to Bambi's unhappy sister, but the story feels
forced and predictable rather than suspenseful or frightening.
The overall design of the film and its use of saturated color gives it a
vaguely sixties feel and the costumes go along. Marchand is also fond of
using doors as frames, hallways as tunnels and reverse mirror shots la
Hitchcock. These elements enhance the sense of claustrophobia engendered
just by being in a hospital and do add to Bambi's own growing sense of
dread. But it's still not quite enough.|
In addition to "...Harry," Marchand also co-wrote the scripts for Laurent Cantet's stark "Human Resources" and Jean Paul Rappeneau's recent World War II musical
"Bon Voyage." Well, two out of three ("...Harry" and "HR") ain't bad. He is a
gifted writer to be sure, but Marchand the director should have been better
served by Marchand the writer the script is the weak link in "Qui a Tu
|NOVEMBER 8, 2004|
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