Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ricky **1/2

Director: François Ozon
Cast: Alexandra Lamy, Sergi López, Mélusine Mayance, Arthur Peyret

Consistent with his inconsistency as a director François Ozon's "Ricky" is a strange tale of loss, families and what lies beneath done in an ambiguous, sometimes ineffective way.
The film starts as Katie (Lamy) worriedly talks to a social worker about the possibility of giving her child up.
We go back in time to the time when Katie worked in a chemical factory and lived alone with her daughter Lisa (Mayance). One day at the factory Katie meets Paco (López) a new employee who instantly clicks with her.
Before long they have moved in together and are expecting a baby. However when Ricky (Peyret) is born, they realize he has a special ability: he can fly.
His ability soon destabilizes the familiar structure and all of them will have to deal with the unexpected.
The film mostly suffers from tonal discrepancies as Ozon tries hard to decide where exactly he wants to take the story. Interestingly most of these problems are because of Ricky.
The relationship between Katie and Paco is fascinating because the director captures it using silence and little things that evoke the restrained work he's so good at, but when Ricky's put into the equation they go against coherent reasoning and act out of some forced nature.
"Ricky" can't work as a drama with magic realism or as a full out fantasy movie, which is why it's at its best when it concentrates on an inconspicuous character: Lisa.
Ozon, accidentally or not, crafts a cunning portrait of sibling jealousy and the movie might be a manifestation of Lisa's deeper thoughts.
Before Ricky is born we see her wearing a fairy costume before her mom leaves her to go on a date, then once Paco lives with them she demands the wing from the chicken they're carving.
Can it be that Ricky has nothing special about him, but Lisa is so jealous and envious of the attention he stole from her, that she sees him as this wonderful creature?
The grownups in the film usually take her for granted and Ozon almost does the same, completely unaware that she's becoming the unexpected center of attention.

No comments: