Jean Dujardin is a European actor that has not seen the same sort of Hollywood success as some of his continental brethren. While people like Mads Mikkelsen and Christoph Waltz get role after role in big films by big directors and/or big franchises, Dujardin is reserved only for films like the Oscar winning The Artist and the mediocre The Monuments Men. It can’t be put down to a case of Hollywood Francophobia either as Vincent Cassel and Jean Reno have been cast in quite significant roles in the past ten years in films by Darren Aronofsky and Spike Lee respectively.
If anything, Deerskin proves just how much of a shame it is that we don’t get to see more of Dujardin in English speaking media. His performance as Georges in this is both unsettling and hilarious and is a testament to the actor’s abilities, especially in the realm of comedy. This could very well be a career turner for the actor as he is very much centre stage throughout the entirety of the 80 minute run-time. The character is of course a joy to watch but as the film is so short, you don’t really get a chance to find out much about the other characters other than Georges’ female companion who joins him in his quest later on. Adele Haenel (who some will know from Portrait Of A Lady On Fire) is great in the supporting role, but it is Dujardin that steals the show.
The story of Deerskin is a very simple one which is what you’d expect with so short a film. With that being said, going in to it in too much detail would be foolhardy as it would most certainly ruin the experience. It is definitely a movie that you should go into blind as you will not expect the directions it goes in. Just know that it’s as mad as a film can get while still remaining within the possibilities of our reality.
The comedy in the film is pretty slow burning. At first you’ll wonder why this is being described as a comedy at all. Stick with it. When the film reaches about the half way mark, the laughter will start to come. Granted though it’s not hysterical, it’s just mad and the madness is so well directed that it consumes the audience and you’ll be right there behind Georges as he goes through his very wild journey.
The cinematography is quite darkly shot – this will be to match the tone of the film. However it doesn’t stop the scenery of the French Alps looking mesmerising in the background of a fair amount of shots throughout Deerskin. The rolling hills and majestic mountains are something to behold and will make you incredibly envious of the cast and crew who got to shoot there.
Deerskin is a great time if you’re looking for something quick and mad. It’s barely feature length but manages to fit in all the giggles and gasps that would be present in a similar but longer film.
Deerskin will release in cinemas on July 16th.