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Vincent Cassel as Gregori
Jeremy Chabriel as Alexander

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Tom Dooley 7 / 10

Bleak, dystopian tale of one man's own created world

Vincent Cassel stars in this Australian film as Gregori. He has a harem of women who all have children – mostly it would appear – with him as the father. They live in an isolated community where they seem to lead a happy life with the children learning yet enjoying their childhood. Gregori is the only man. His eldest son is Alexander and at first we see true paternal love and the reflected devotion.

However, all is not as it seems as we learn that the outside world is not a nice place and Gregori is training his children to be 'hit men' or hit kids more appropriately. As Alexander learns more of the world forbidden to him he slowly starts to question what his father's motives are and their way of life.

Now this is extremely well made being in part made by Animal Kingdom 'It Follows' fame. The actors all seem to be unknowns but all do brilliant jobs of what was a very physical film in terms of what is expected. Cassel is just as good in an English language role as he is in his native French and puts in a stellar performance. The plot was apparently inspired by child soldiers of Colombia. It is a very thoughtful film and despite the violent undertones is actually fairly responsible in avoiding the actual gore but still addressing the issues head on. It has had mixed reviews but I for one found that it stayed with me long after having seen it – which is always a good thing. This is for people who like to think about their films and who appreciate an original film delivered in a realistic way.

Reviewed by LeonLouisRicci 7 / 10

Artistic & Philosophical Australian Indie About Determined Detachment

Colorfully decorated sets and Art-Design paint a cheerfully bleak existence of a "Family" of self isolated misfits and victims of a larger Society that have isolated themselves from the "Hurt" of reality.

Likable but verging on insanity, charming like most Cult-Leaders, Vincent Cassel is slowly shown to be a manipulative maniac giving refuge to single Women with Children. What transpires is a depressing scenario.

This offbeat, low-budget Australian Movie has Philosophical, Psychological, and Societal things on its mind and delivers engaging but erratic implications of the Human condition, its strengths and shortcomings.

Worth a watch for its Artistry but the deep subject matter is never fully thought out and seems a shortcut with its ambiguous storytelling. Much needed background to make it convincing and insightful is never supplied to the viewer and that does this ambitious little Film a disservice.

Because in the end the extremely interesting and always good to look at Movie is big on display but does not have what is most needed in this type of thing, information for involvement.

Reviewed by Paul Evans 9 / 10

A dark and intelligent, character driven film.

Vincent Casel plays Gregori, the King and leader of his self created Utopia, made of damaged women and children groomed for a life of crime and control from Gregori. The children are made to commit horrendous crimes, including murder. Gregori considers himself a figure akin to a religious leader, instead he's a spider at the centre of a web. One of his boys 'Alexander' has the mental ability to look beyond Gregori's brainwashing, he begins to question the life he's living and soon starts challenging Gregori. Alexander also has a natural curiosity for life outside the commune, his mind is inquisitive, naturally so at his age. As the film goes on it becomes apparent that Gregori and Alexander will never see eye to eye and the commune will never be big enough for the two.

A very intelligent movie, it's one that will make you think and ask do similar events happen in the world. It is a very original movie, I can't think of many similar movies I've seen.

The movie is hugely character driven, there are some long dialogues, deliberately there to show the motives and conflicts of Gregori in particular.

Some moments where you're not quite sure what's going to happen, Alexander's trip to the shop being one. In my opinion the story is actually very strong, it's all about Gregori creating his own mini world, adding what he wants, and ridding what threatens it.

Brilliance from Vincent Cassel, as is often the case, he manages to make Gregori manipulative, powerful and somehow dangerous, he put in an excellent performance.

Just Excellent. 9/10

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