MANDIBLES is above all a genuine and sincere comedy about friendship. It’s also, thanks to the presence of a giant fly at the heart of the story, a fantasy film.
Quentin Dupieux, writer/director
I’m not sure how you write a film like Mandibles, then again, I wasn’t sure how you create a film like Rubber, but Quentin Dupieux did that as well. Mandibles is quirky, entertaining, and hilarious. It is a movie that will have you in stitches the entire time. Who decides to craft an entire film around training a giant fly (yes, that is a dog-sized fly you see in the film) and creates something that holds the viewer in complete trance. I was mesmerized from start to finish. This is, without a doubt, a film that I must physically own, I truly hope that it gets a DVD or Blu-ray release so that I can put it on my shelf and show it to everyone I know.
This is a bumbling buddy comedy at its heart. Manu (Grégoire Ludig) and Jean-Gab (David Marsais) are, in many ways Dumb and Dumber’s Harry and Lloyd. The two men are amazing and I’m eager to see more with them. Ludig, in particular, was a joy to watch. They gave Oscar worthy performances but, as a foreign film, I doubt they’d stand a chance at a nomination. The two of them share an on screen chemistry that draws you in. Honestly, you don’t even need the giant fly, although who doesn’t want a giant fly in their movies?
In the film, Manu (Ludig) is hired as a courier. The job is simple – pick up a package, deliver it from point A to point B, and get paid. In order to accomplish his task, Manu steals a car and then picks up his best friend, Jean Gab (Marsais) to come for the ride. As they drive, they hear a noise coming from the trunk. When they stop to investigate, they find a giant fly. Jean-Gab suggests they train it to go steal items and bring them back. I’m not sure if that would be my first thought upon seeing a giant fly, but it is definitely an option. What ensues is an hour of hilarity where the duo find themselves in a couple of ridiculous situations. I won’t spoil any of them because everyone should watch this film.
You might find yourself confused. Why is the featured image an unhappy woman if the film follows a pair of bumbling idiots? That is because the actor featured, Adèle Exarchopoulos, steals the show. The character she plays, Agnès, might just be my favourite onscreen character of the year. The performance is top notch and she is the star of every scene in which she appears. I found myself having to pause the film on multiple occasions so that I could get my laughing under control just to continue watching the movie. I’ve already made a list of Exarchopoulos and plan to find as many of them as I can in North America to watch. If you find yourself wondering how amazing the performance can be, watch the film, particularly her first appearance in the film and thank me later. Better yet… thank Exarchopoulos for the portrayal and Dupieux for writing the character.
I saw the trailer for this film and wasn’t sure what to expect. I watched the opening scenes and regretted my decision. Then, a giant fly appeared and the movie became something special. Interestingly, the fly isn’t what makes it special… it’s just a prop that empowers brilliant actors that I likely never would have discovered. It is a tool that allows them to tell story that, as Dupieux says in the quote at the top of this review, is a “genuine and sincere comedy about friendship.” Anything is possible, as long as you have your best friend along for the ride… even training a giant fly.
Mandibles was released everywhere on July 23.
Movie title: Mandibles
Movie description: When simple-minded friends Jean-Gab and Manu find a giant fly trapped in the boot of a car, they decide to train it in the hope of making a ton of cash.
Date published: 2021-07-23
Director(s): Quentin Dupieux
Actor(s): Gregoire Ludig, David Marsais, Adele Exarchopoulos, India Hair, Romeo Elvis, Coralie Russier, Bruno Lochet
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