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Dheepan

Director:  Jacques Audiard
Year Released:  2015
Rating:  2.0

The title soldier (Jesuthasan Antonythasan), recently finished with fighting a civil war in his native Sri Lanka, escapes to France with a fake wife and a fake daughter to work as a caretaker in a rundown housing project infested with seedy types and drug-related activity - if you predict he'll eventually snap and go medieval on the residents, you're absolutely correct. Not sure what's so special about this to have won the Palme d'Or at Cannes - it's not even Audiard's best movie - since it's not exactly pro-immigration, the conflict among (low-class) convicts in France cannot be compared to a war in Sri Lanka and the film's turn to (well-choreographed) burning trucks and bullets comes about a little too suddenly. Dheepan and his surrogate family are believable (and pitiable), but more could have been made about what's actually going on in his native land and what's actually going on outside Paris (it dodges deeper issues about politics). The ending owes a major amount of debt to Schrader and Scorsese, of course....

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