Review: On the Edge
- Giordano Gederlini delivers a noir, even desperate thriller, in a nocturnal Brussels, where men no longer want to fight but are forced to
A renowned screenwriter (he notably co-wrote Les Misérables [+see also:
interview: Ladj Ly
film profile] by Ladj Ly, or Mother’s Instinct [+see also:
interview: Olivier Masset-Depasse
film profile] by Olivier Masset-Depasse), Giordano Gederlini comes back to direction with On the Edge [+see also:
interview: Giordano Gederlini
film profile], his second feature, an urban thriller led by Spanish actor Antonio de la Torre, which is screened as a Belgian premiere at the Brussels International Film Festival, in National Competition, after being presented at the Reims Polar Festival.
Leo Castañeda (Antonio de la Torre) is Spanish and lives in Brussels, where he drives the metro. One evening, his eyes meet those of a young man on the platform, a familiar face... Leo recognises his son Hugo, when he tragically disappears on the tracks. He hadn't seen him for over two years, and discovers that he was involved in a bloody robbery.
Leo is going to investigate, to try to understand what brought him there, in the basement of this station, and above all, under the scrutiny of the police. A game of cat and mouse begins, without it ever really being clear who is the cat and who is the mouse, under the looming threat of far more deadly beasts, the men who ordered the robbery. The characters are plunged against their will into a violence that they know they cannot avoid at this stage.
On the Edge, it’s the slightly spectral state in which Leo errs, a man without a past, or rather, a man who wants to erase a painful past at all costs. A little haggard, but with his senses still sharp, he tries with the energy of despair to make up for lost time, to redeem himself as a father. Spanish actor Antonio de la Torre lends his density to this worn-out, damaged character, who embarks on the struggle reluctantly, but finds there reflexes never forgotten.
Opposite him is Marine Vacth, a wall of determination, a driving force trying to push the investigation forward, to find the truth, and perhaps more. She has to face her father, the commissioner, played by Olivier Gourmet gruffer than ever, a 50-year-old man not thrilled with the idea of fighting, but driven by necessity.
If it is sometimes necessary to leave at the entrance of the cinema the desire to understand the motivations or reactions of the characters, or the sequences of circumstances, the action is nevertheless carried by an extremely polished photography, signed by Flemish cinematographer Christophe Nuyens, to whom we owe the image of the series Lupin, Black Spot or Versailles, and a soundtrack alternating the interferences and the music signed by Laurent Garnier, the artistic direction contributing to the acceptance of the artifices of fiction.
On the Edge is produced by Frakas Productions (Belgium) and co-produced by Noodles Productions (France) and Fasten Films (Spain). International sales are handled by Le Pacte, who also distributes the film in France on 29 June. O’Brother Distribution will release the film in Belgium on 13 July.
(Translated from French)
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