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MAMMUTH

Director: GUSTAVE KERVERN & BENOÎT DELEPINE

92 minutes| France| 2010| Subtitled| Colour| D-Cinema


Gerard Depardieu isn’t exactly your average pensioner in this combination road-movie and eccentric comedy from writer-directors Gustave Kervern and Benoît Delepine, the French japesters who brought us the cherishable Aaltra. Retired from his job at a meat-packing plant, Depardieu’s amiable muddler Serge isn’t fit for anything, really. Needing missing documents from previous employers before he can claim his full pension, he ventures into the countryside, where strangeness and romance await – and his mind still reels with the image of his great lost love (a generous cameo from Isabelle Adjani, no less). Underplayed farce and moments of indescribable oddness are the order of the day as the movie goes for the comedic slow-burn, with Depardieu unashamedly using his sheer bulk in portraying this hapless great bear of a man, who rides a collector’s-item Munch Mammuth bike, hence the title. There’s wonderful support from Yolande Moreau (Seraphine) as the fiercely devoted missus and a splendidly abrasive Benoît Poelvoorde as the beach-comber from hell. (Notes by Trevor Johnston).

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