The Bronzed at the Gulag
If the first opus Glitter Shrimps was a sympathetic road movie about a queer water polo team having to accommodate a homophobic athlete (contradicting his thirst for competition and performance with their desire for representation), it was above all a schoolboy and sometimes gritty comedy To our greatest delight.
This is the biggest difference with this new opus, The Revenge of the Glitter Shrimps. Exit the character of the road movie. We find the Shrimps on the way to the Gay Games in Tokyo. Matthias (Nicolas Gob) introduces a new recruit to the team, Sélim (Bilal El-Atreby). Young man from the other side of the ring road, his athletic qualities are not to be demonstrated, although he does not seem to be in the same atmosphere as the rest of the collective (understand that he obviously does not like jokes on sodomy).
Problem: due to a booking error, they have to stay one night in a hotel in a Russian town. And the country doesn’t have a reputation for being very kind to queer people. This night (and the following days) will then be conducive to many adventures and the confrontation with the reality of homophobia thousands of kilometers from France..
When you have five months of filming at -20° ahead of you
Suffice to say that if the comic aspect is still present thanks to the extravagance of the Shrimps and their locker room dialoguesand this sometimes in the hardest moments of the plot, it is clear that the tone has changed to become much harder. The film extracts itself from its character of comedy to the agreed message for become an authentic drama one of the highlights of which is the ending (which manages to use a supporting character brilliantly).
If tragicomedy could recall Goodbye idiots by Albert Dupontel and manages to serve its purpose (sending resolutely comic characters in dramatic situations), it is because it gives itself the means with shocking footage – electroshock conversion therapy, gay dating app rants, chilling catechism class. If some attract the eye by their content, others are also real staging proposals (which unfortunately it is impossible for us to mention without revealing the content).
Interns fleeing the weekly Large Screen meeting, colorized
The strength of The Revenge of the Glitter Shrimpsit’s its varied and sunny cast. David Baiot continues to be precise in his apparent lightness, Romain Brau brings a touch of acid femininity, while Félix Martinez reveals himself to be sensitive and touching, where Geoffrey Couët gets one of the best sequences in the film.
Too bad, however, that writing is one of the main obstacles to storytelling. All our Sunday sportsmen are pawns who only advance because they have a problem to solve (and all are obviously interconnected in their resolution), in addition to their departure from Russia to reach Tokyo.
Soviet Russia, not pink every day
Whether it’s Jean’s mourning for Alex, Fred’s search for femininity or Vincent’s desire to be recognized in his couple, this is their only motivation. A one-dimensional aspect that finds its climax with the newcomer Sélimrepresentation of the aggressive and mute suburban youth, whose environment prevents him from confronting his sexual orientation.
As for the scenario, it is nonetheless agreed. The resolutions to character issues are stitched together in white thread, Chekhov’s Rifles (an apparent detail that will in fact be of paramount importance later in the story) are immediately visible to the viewer, and surprise only comes in shock. caused by certain sequences.
Imposing physique, insignificant role
PISCINA, crazy about crawlers
However, regularly the film manages to make people forget that we are on track. Firstly because he fills his story with numerous references which we enjoy, Priscilla, Mad of the Desertto Mylène Farmer or François Ozon. But also because he offers himself some magnificent shots, including one shot under the ice.
More than beauty or trash, the story is multicolored. Some characters will discover the hell of conversion therapies in the depths of monochrome Russia where others will experience a militant epiphany in neon-stuffed queer underground nightclubsbereaved by the disappearance of some of their regulars during the raids.
This versatility is characteristic of the film (and not just limited to its flashy art direction that complements the gray of Russia), able to do the splits constantly, preventing it from being monolithic. This character is also found in the soundtrack, which has fun mixing traditional Soviet music and iconic pop (David Bowie, Britney Spears) to better transcribe the emotion of its characters. If he still doesn’t hit his target, The Revenge of the Glitter Shrimps can at least lay claim to the irony of being surprisingly motley.