a bet risked for a "western chamanic"
(Tageblatt | 02.06.04) Badly translated from French. The original is HERE.
Baptized "western chamanic", "Blueberry" of Jan Kounen, with Vincent Cassel in the skin of a hallucinated sheriff, who misused psychotropic substances, is one of the most awaited films of this beginning 2004 and one bet risked for Thomas Langmann, the son of Claude Berri, who produced it.
Subtitled "the secret experiment", this spectacular of more than 36M of EUR, the highest budget of the French cinema in 2002, is freely adapted famous character of data base created by the draughtsman Jean "Moebius" Giraud and the scenario writer Jean-Michel Charlier. With the orders: the realizer of "Dobermann".
For Jan Kounen (39 years), this "western epic with fantastic environment tells the initiatory course of one man in the search of his roots", which tries "to reconcile the Western world, dominated by the absence of crowned and planet ransacks it, and the Indian world". "Blueberry", which leaves Wednesday on 400 to 600 copies, was turned in extraordinary landscapes in Mexico, to Spain (Almeria) and in the studios of Arpajon, and was carried out in English, with second American roles, Juliette Lewis, Michael Madsen, Ernest Borgnine.
After the death of that which he liked (Vahina Giocante), the young person Mike Blueberry, broken and wounded, was looked after by Indians. A few years later, about 1870, he is a sheriff in the village of Palomito where Prosit the Prussian (Eddie Izzard) unloads, a man in the search of a treasure in the crowned mountains of the Chiricahua Indians.
On its traces, Mike sees arriving Wally Blount, mysterious adventurous in which it reconnait the man who killed its first love. Helped by Runi (Temuera Morrison), his/her friend chamane, Blueberry will face Blount and his own interior demons. Vincent Cassel, 37 years, revealed by "hatred", devoted by "the Pact of the wolves", camps this character who seems straight left a western of Sergio Leone. But it became cajun of Louisiana and it speaks also the tepehuano, an Indian language.
That starts like a cheap western, with young Blueberry (Hugh O' Conor) and all the stereotypes of the kind: saloon, brothel, brawl, duel, rides wild, scalps. There is also the village idiot, played by Jan Kounen itself, and Juliette Lewis in cow-girl. But after decoctions and another magic potion, prepared by the chamane (healer or psychiatrist, Indian version), the spectator plunges in the heart of darkness, in the fantastic visions that the realizer known as to have tried out itself in Mexico and especially in Peru.
And here are that snakes grouillent, hydre monstrous, creatures kind "alien", concoctés by aces of the special effects to represent to them (long) mystical or nightmarish fright of Blueberry.
Blow of hat to old, Ernest Borgnine, which played 50 years ago in "Johnny Guitar" of Nicolas Ray, "Vera Cruz" of Robert Aldrich and "the wild horde" of Sam Peckinpah, is a paraplegic sheriff here, in wheel chair.
Will the spectator enter in fright with Vincent Cassel? After the fall of frequentation recorded in 2003 (-5,6%) and the failure of large productions like "Happy Voyage", "Valiant Michel", "Mr N." or "Lovely Rita", the French cinema is in the expectancy.