Tuesday, November 8, 2011

AFI FEST 2011: "The Invader"

THE INVADER (L'envahisseur)(2011) ***1/2 95mins. D: Nicolas Provost. Issaka Sawadogo, Stefania Rocca, Serge Riaboukine.

Amadou and other illegals find work at a construction site where they are essentially slaves to the owner. Housed in a garage/warehouse with nothing but mattresses for beds, they willing live in these conditions because they have nowhere else to go. A situation arises that places Amadou in a precarious position. He lashes out violently, as anyone would do in his circumstances, and runs off to the streets. While out there he charms his way into the life of a married socialite who reminds him of someone. However, his problems start to follow him everywhere he goes and his life begins to spiral out of control as he gradually becomes more desperate, more unstable and very dangerous.

Sawadogo is striking as the title character. He really sells the transition from someone who's charming, caring, friendly to someone where you fear for those around him. The entire film rests on his shoulders and he carries it well.

Provost makes a solid feature film directorial debut. Interestingly enough, when I initially wrote this review I was very disappointed in the ending. However, when giving it further thought I now feel it is a solid, ambiguous and interesting conclusion.

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