DIFF student review – Mobile Home will charm toughest critics

2013-07-24 17:58

City Press is proud to host student reviews of the films on offer at the Durban International Film Festival. The students are postgraduates from the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Culture, Communication and Media Studies department.

Once in a great while, a simple movie finds its way into the hearts and minds of cinemagoers. Francois Pirot’s simple film, Mobile Home (Belgium 2012), does just that.

It starts as a typical road-trip movie but soon takes a beautiful and funny twist that is sure to charm even the toughest of critics. What makes Pirot’s movie so charming and cute is the clear yet simple script that leaves audience members at times confused about the relationship between the two protagonists, Julien and Simon.

The story goes that party boy Simon, after breaking up with his steady girlfriend and leaving his job, returns home to his parents and painfully bashful best friend, Julien. However, being the “wild boy” he always was and refusing to settle down and assume the roles of every adult man his age, he decides to live the life of Thelma and Louise on the open road with faithful Julien.

There are subtle and funny twists and turns in the story that leave you yearning for the movie to go on for longer than 95 minutes.

Throughout the film, we get to see and know the two protagonists in much detail. We learn to sympathise with Julien, whose down-to-earth and kind aura and sense of responsibility leads us to like him. He is the exact opposite of his friend, Simon, who is obnoxious and proud, and lacks any discipline or true responsibility.

It is pretty evident that the two friends come from different walks of life and it is these backgrounds that shape the way they are.

Pirot’s script and choice of direction has moments and scenes that connote elements of homoeroticism. We are steered to believe that Julien may indeed have a crush on his oblivious friend, Simon.

It is only towards the end of the movie that the story takes a twist and reverses the roles of the two, if only very subtly.

Pirot’s Mobile Home is beautifully acted and wonderfully written, and oozes the kind of subtle, simplistic and basic charm that is lacking in most movies today.

The only real dent in Pirot’s film is the score, with the horrendous (tribal) drum motif that plays at random and unfitting moments.

If Pirot’s story is not one of love then it is by all means one of growth as we see the protagonist Simon grow in his own obnoxiously proud way.


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