Eden

"Good"

Eden Review


Loose and impressionistic, this beautifully shot film traces the career of a DJ who pioneered garage music in France. It's not an easy film to engage with, since the characters and situations remain stubbornly undefined by the atmospheric filmmaking. But fans of the music will find the movie mesmerising as director Mia Hansen-Love cleverly recreates the clubbing culture.

The central figure is Paul Vallee (Felix de Givry), who with his buddy Stan (Hugo Conzelmann) forms a DJ duo called Cheers in the early 1990s, adding a "French touch" to the garage sound and developing a friendly rivalry with their pals Thomas and Guy-Man (Vincent Lacoste and Arnaud Azoulay), better known as Daft Punk. Despite gaining success in France, around Europe and even in America, Paul struggles to make a decent living, mainly because all of his money disappears into his drug habit. So he constantly turns to his mother (Arsinee Khanjian) for help. But the real problem for him is loneliness, as his relationships with a series of girlfriends (including Greta Gerwig and Pauline Etienne) fade away. And nearly 20 years years later, he still feels like he hasn't grown up.

The film is assembled with artistry, capturing the period and settings with an earthy realism while the musical beats churn through every scene. And the actors deliver naturalistic performances that draw out a variety of intriguing themes. So it's deeply frustrating that the film's uneven structure develops so little momentum. De Givry is superb as Paul, but there's nothing about him that becomes terribly interesting apart from his musical innovations. He seems to just drift along, never steering his life in any particular direction, neglecting his relationships to concentrate on the music. Oddly, even his cocaine habit seems to barely impact him, apart from the realisation much later on that the world has moved on without him.

As the film meanders along, scenes are packed with offhanded observations and subtly moving emotion. The story lurches along unevenly, skipping over several years then settling in to explore a specific week in detail as people come and go from Paul's life. Yes, all of this feels rather a lot like a person looking back at his life, wondering where the years have gone. And the problem is that there's simply no spark to Paul's relationships, and very little sense of his passion for either another person or a musical track. So the film rolls along like a great tune playing on a dance floor, barely noticeable in the background while we're thinking about something more interesting.

Watch the trialer for Eden here:



Eden

Facts and Figures

Genre: Foreign

Run time: 98 mins

In Theaters: Friday 19th July 2013

Distributed by: Phase 4 Films

Production compaines: Eden Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 82%
Fresh: 27 Rotten: 6

IMDB: 6.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Mia Hansen-Love

Producer: Charles Gillibert

Starring: as Eden, as Bob Gault, as Vaughan, as The Nurse, Naama Kates as Svetlana, as Jesse

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