Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ablations [2014]

MPAA (UR would be R)  LeMonde (2 Stars)  Fr. Dennis (2 1/2 Stars)

IMDb listing listing*

LeMonde (j.F. Rouger) review*
aVoir-aLire (P. Longlais) review*
AbusdeCine (C. Brangé) review*

Ablations [2014] [IMDb] []* (directed by Arnold de Parscau [IMDb] []*, screenplay by Benoît Delépine [IMDb] []*) is a somewhat surreal "David Lynch" [IMDb]-like Belgian-French "comedy" / perhaps even "morality tale" that played recently at the 50th Chicago International Film Festival.

The story begins with the film's central protagonist, a middle-aged man named Pastor (played by Denis Ménochet [IMDb] []*), waking-up one morning in a small field along a river bank, groggy, perhaps "hungover" and ... MISSING A KIDNEY.  Where the kidney once was, he finds ... stitches.

What the heck happened?  Well that's the rest of the movie...

Now how does one "lose a kidney" or "have a kidney stolen" from him/her.  Not easily.  So again, what exactly happened?  And how does one go about finding out what happened?

Well, there are complications.  Even in the most uncomplicated case, going to the police to report that "someone's stolen my kidney" would be rather embarrassing.  However Pastor, who turns out to be some sort of a pharmaceutical salesman (hence middle to upper-middle class) with a wife lovely wife named Léa (played by Virginie Ledoyen [IMDb] []*) and 8-10 year old kid, also has a mistress, a nurse by trade, named Anna (played by Florence Thomassin [IMDb] []*) ... Presumably the last significant place that he was before losing consciousness and ... well, HIS KIDNEY ... was when he was at Anna's.

In any case, he decides that he can't tell his wife that he lost his kidney, because, well ... he'd have to admit that he was somewhere where he should not have been.  Now how do you hide FROM YOUR WIFE THE FACT THAT YOU'RE NOW MISSING ONE OF YOUR KIDNEYS ... After all the stitches are there, where the kidney once was.  Again, not easily.

Anna, however, seems quite happy to "help" her lover, Pastor, go about searching for whoever would have wanted / been able to steal said kidney ... even as the story progresses, Pastor, finds himself more and more estranged from his wife and kid ...

Anyway, much ensues, and, SLOWLY, OH SO SLOWLY, Pastor finds himself realizing that he's going to have to come clean with his wife.  But how long can he string things out ...?

This is a goofy film, but it does remind us, in an absurd sort of a way that "when we go off the reservation" ... ALL KINDS OF THINGS CAN HAPPEN (heck, one could even lose a kidney...) that become very hard to explain to those we have been lying to.

It's all kinda sophomoric, but kinda fun watching the poor guy try to get himself out of a truly crazy situation that he found/put himself in: "Oh what tangled webs we weave, when we first set out to deceive"

* Reasonably good (sense) translations of non-English webpages can be found by viewing them through Google's Chrome browser.

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