N A V I
G A T E

Home
A Brief Introduction
Years in Review
Films Ranked: 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
Current Criticism
Search Criticism
Past Criticism
Top 10 Lists
Notable Short Films
Links
Contact Me

Divines

Director:  Houda Benyamina
Year Released:  2016
Rating:  2.0

Two poor French teenagers from low-income housing, Dounia (Oulaya Amamra) and Maimouna (D├ęborah Lukumuena), hate school (Dounia makes fun of her one teacher), goof around on Snapchat, ogle male dancer Djigui (Kevin Mischel) ... and get involved with ferocious drug dealer Rebecca (Jisca Kalvanda) in order to make that money, money, money (thanks rap videos, your life lessons are so healthy). As much as I'd like to applaud it for a heaping dose of Grrl Power and all that business - it's clear Dounia and Maimouna are devoted to each other - it also has a blatant disregard for subtlety in any form: conversations generally consist of shouting, Dounia's Mom is a gross mess, the scene with the teacher is downright ugly (from a teacher's perspective) and it generally has an air of hysteria about it, culminating in one character roasted alive and another on her knees and screaming (the lead gets beaten up a lot). Benyamina tries to draw a parallel between Dounia's dream (of wealth and power) and Djigui's ambition, but that scene in the grocery store is more silly than poetic. Turn it down a notch ... or quatre.

Return to the Previous Page

© Copyright 2017 Matthew Lotti.