Director: Jacques Audiard
Stars: Jesuthasan Antonythasan, Kalieaswari Srinivasan, Claudine Vinasithamby
Rating: * * * ½
One of the many admirable qualities of Jacques Audiard’s filmography is his willingness to examine France’s multiculturalism – the Vietnamese piano teacher in The Beat That My Heart Skipped, Tahir Rahim’s French-Arab protagonist in A Prophet – and never more so than in his latest effort. To escape war-torn Sri Lanka, Tamil fighter Dheepan (Antonyhasan, himself a former Tamil Tiger turned acclaimed writer), a desperate local woman Yalini (Srinivasan) and a nine-year-old orphan (Vinasithamby) form an impromptu family and are shipped out to a Paris banlieue. Strangers to one another, family unity strains under the duress of impoverished assimilation into a foreign land. And gang activity within their powder keg tower block home threatens to bring a different, if achingly familiar, outbreak of warfare and violence.