Action / Drama / Thriller

IMDb Rating 5.8 10 3311


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Vincent Cassel as Gregori
Jeremy Chabriel as Alexander

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Tom Vykruta 9 / 10

Child soldiers in a surreal commune fortress

Partisan tells the story of a brilliant, highly determined man with a damaged past, Gregori (Vincent Cassel) who constructs a commune, assimilates a group of troubled women and trains and army of child soldiers. It is set in a protected compound, shielded from perceived evil of the people outside of the walls. The setting is a surreal fortress - part labyrinth, part garden of Eden.

The story is told through the eyes of a brave, clever boy, Alexander, the son and product of Gregori. As a result of the boy's perspective, very little is told about the outside world - we learn only bits and pieces as Alexander is sent out on brutal but brief assassination missions.

Gregori plays Father and God to the children of the commune, mentoring Alexander and the other children in various survival skills such as shooting and navigation. When the audience asked for more back story about the outside world, Ariel (director) said "we wanted to only show the world as seen through Alex's eyes, beyond that we didn't care."

The film sets up with a hopeful Utopian society but turns quickly Noir as several twisted, internal conflicts develop and Alex starts to challenge his father's utilitarian command. The story-telling, cinematography and dialogue are chilling. Throughout the film many of the shots are as long as 25 seconds with no cuts.

Fun fact - I spoke with Germaine after the film who told me in the first 2 days of filming he broke his ankle in an unfortunate camera dolly accident and had to endure rest of film in a cast.

In post premiere Q&A Ariel said that the story was inspired by real child soldiers of Colombia.

Prepare yourself for a visceral, emotional journey. Partisan is not just entertainment, it is profound art. I had the honor of seeing this film at the world premiere in the Library Theater at Sundance 2015 and meeting the cast and crew. It was my favorite of the festival.

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.

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