PERSONA NON GRATA
(director/writer: Roschdy Zem; screenwriters: Olivier Gorce, based on the film O Invasor by Beto Brant; cinematographer: Renaud Chassaing; editor: Emmanuel Agneray; music: Nathaniel Méchaly; cast: Nicolas Duvauchelle (Jose), Raphaël Personnaz (Maxime Charasse), Roschdy Zem (Moïse), Nadia Tereskiewicz (Anaïs), Anne Charrier (Ella Montero), Frédéric Pierrot (Eddy), Hafsia Herzi (Iris), Sarah Pasquier (Jelena Charasse); Runtime: 92; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Emmanuel Agneray; Bizibi; 2019-France-in French with English subtitles)
“Zem’s madcap performance might give one a good reason for seeing such an uninteresting nasty film–one that never overwhelmed me.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The fifth film by the French comical writer-director Roschdy Zem (“Chocolat”/”Nothing to Hide”) is an unusual film noir set in the South of France. It’s adapted from Brazilian filmmaker Beto Brant’s Sao Paulo-set thriller O Invasor. It’s shot with a handheld camera by Renaud Chassaing.
A pair of greedy, amoral buddy real estate developers, José (Nicolas Duvauchelle) and Maxime (Raphaël Personnaz), minority partners in a troubled construction company, are not happy with their tyrannical boss, Eddy (Frédéric Pierrot), so they hire a psychotic professional killer, Moïse (Roschdy Zem, the director), to bump him off.
After Eddy’s demise, his unaffected teenage daughter, Anaïs (Nadia Terskiewicz), begins an affair with the much older and sly Moïse (which is Moses in French). And to the chagrin of the partners, Moses won’t take his money and leave. Instead he hangs around the construction site, making a pest of himself and forcing his way into being part of the company. The partners are stuck paying him off, with no end in sight.
In one scene, the funniest in the film, he coerces the partners to invest over $100,000 in the career of an amateur rapper.
Wearing open Hawaiian shirts and sporting shit-eating grins, Moses takes over running the company and the film.
The joke here is that pulling off the crime itself might not matter if the results take a direction not planned.
The bad guy dumb partners are not that convincing as actors. But Zem’s madcap performance might give one a good reason for seeing such an uninteresting nasty film–one that never overwhelmed me.
REVIEWED ON 7/21/2019 GRADE: C+ https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/