Title: Mon Roi

Director: Maïwenn

Starring: Vincent Cassel, Emmanuelle Bercot, Louis Garrel, Isild Le Besco, Chrystèle Saint Louis Augustin, Patrick Raynal, Paul Hamy, Yann Goven, Djemel Barek, Marie Guillard, Camille Cottin, Slim El Hedli, Norman Thavaud,Ludovic Berthillot, Félix Bousset.

‘Mon Roi’ gathers the Sturm und Drang of every individual’s struggle in letting go of someone who is simultaneously toxic and pivotal in our lives.

For more than 10 years, Tony (Emmanuelle Bercot) has suffered in her love for Georgio (Vincent Cassel), trying to change him, to tame a man who’s very wildness attracted her in the first place. She even tried to suppress her own emotional needs and deal with the reality of his personality. While recovering from a skiing accident (that opens the film), Tony reflects back on moments from that decade-long relationship, as she learns to accept that pain needn’t be a part of true love.

In her fourth film as director, French actress-director-screenwriter Maïwenn is concerned first and foremost with her characters, who are emphatic and multi-shaded. The film clearly is drenched with a feminine touch of sensitivity, in the way it prismatically shows the roller-coaster of love. The ups and downs are burdensome to Tony, as she tells Georgio she wants an emotional straight line, but he rebuts that a flatline is when your heart ceases to beat.

As the side characters – played by Louis Garrel and Isild Le Besco – colour the drama with humour and tenderness, the Vincent Cassel-Emmanuelle Bercot duo is pitch perfect! They deliver to the audience every single nuance of the struggle of trying hopelessly and unsuccessfully to fix a relationship. Sometimes the hardest thing in life is to recognise that a love story has run its course and the match may not have been healthy in the first place.

‘Mon Roi’ is bold in remarking how the strongest passion does not come easy. When different worlds collide, adjustments need to take place, because there is no such thing as a perfect half completing you. Yet, complimentary differences must find a happy medium to conquer their happy ending. Georgio and Tony fail to do so, because one is unwilling to compromise, dragging the other in self-censorship that will ultimately detonate, leaving the spectator with a feeling of bittersweet.

Technical: B+

Acting: A

Story: B+

Overall: B+

Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

Mon Roi Movie Review

By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi, is a film critic, culture and foreign affairs reporter, screenwriter, film-maker and visual artist. She studied in a British school in Milan, graduated in Political Sciences, got her Masters in screenwriting and film production and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York and Los Angeles. Chiara’s “Material Puns” use wordplay to weld the title of the painting with the materials placed on canvas, through an ironic reinterpretation of Pop-Art, Dadaism and Ready Made. She exhibited her artwork in Milan, Rome, Venice, London, Oxford, Paris and Manhattan. Chiara works as a reporter for online, print, radio and television and also as a film festival PR/publicist. As a bi-lingual journalist (English and Italian), who is also fluent in French and Spanish, she is a member of the Foreign Press Association in New York, the Women Film Critics Circle in New York, the Italian Association of Journalists in Milan and the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean. Chiara is also a Professor of Phenomenology of Contemporary Arts at IED University in Milan.

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