Give Me Your Hand [Donne-moi la Main]

"Very Good"

Give Me Your Hand [Donne-moi la Main] Review


With its meandering, unfocussed narrative, this sometimes feels more like beautiful moving wallpaper than an actual film. But even without much plot, it's a fascinating exploration of identity.

Twins Antoine and Quentin (Alexandre and Victor Carril) are so identical that they can hardly tell each other apart. But they discover some key differences while hitchhiking from France to Spain for the funeral of their estranged mother. Antoine is more adventurous than Quentin, who retreats into himself and his sketchbook. While Antoine picks up a girl (Demoustier) who joins them for awhile, Quentin falls for a colleague (Harraq) when they take a job at a farm.

And when Antoine sees them getting close, he freaks out.

Filmmaker Vincent based the story on the actors themselves, young guys who have grown up with the same looks, attitudes and experiences. On screen, he cleverly captures their playful, tactile, comfortable physicality; roughhousing, wrestling and longstanding feuds feel like signs of deep connection. And Vincent's intriguing idea is that the discovery that they may not share the same sexuality is what ultimately defines them as two people.

All of this emerges with little dialog, expressed mainly through interaction that's teasingly sexy. It's elegantly shot, sharply edited and perhaps a little indulgent in its willingness to just wander through the events without giving us any firm plot points. For example, the whole film can also be read metaphorically as a tale of one man at war with himself over who he really is.

This is suggested in the haunting finale, as well as the film's middle act, in which the brothers are separated but we only follow Antoine.

The Carril brothers are terrific on-screen presence, suggesting a career similar to the Treadaway twins, making films together and separately.

Helpfully, Vincent gives Alexandre a scar above one eyebrow so that we can always tell which one is which, but we can also see the their distinct personalities, as Antoine's abrupt surliness is almost always in conflict with Quentin's soulful searching. So even if there's never much plot, there's always something to hold our attention and make us think. And look into ourselves.



Facts and Figures

Genre: Foreign

Production compaines: Local Films, Adam Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: Pascal-Alex Vincent

Producer: Nicolas Breviere

Starring: Victor Carril as Quentin, Alexandre Carril as Antoine, Anaïs Demoustier as Clémentine, Samir Harrag as Hakim, Patrick Hauthier as L'Homme de la Gare, Katrin Saß as La Femme du Train, as Angel, Maya Borker as La Femme des Bois, Michel Grateau as Julian, Oswaldo Parma as Le vieil Homme dans la Voiture, Elsa Malterre as Nadège, Elodie Meurlargé as Mélody (as Elodie Meurlarger), Jean-Pascal Abribat as Le Frère de Clémentine, Franck Guilbot as Le Propriétaire de la Ferme, Joël Pyrene as Vendeur Snack, Jeanine Roy as La Conductrice de la Camionnette, Corinne Pougnaud as La Mère de la petite Fille

Also starring:

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