Nov 7, 2012

Movie Review: I Killed My Mother (2009)

I Killed My Mother or J'ai tué ma mère (in French) is a directing debut of actor Xavier Dolan who actually was 20 by film premiere that can make him the youngest director of all time.

I just randomly decided to watch any of his movies and this film was surprisingly good.

The movie tells a story of young gay teenager (Hubert played by Dolan himself) who's relationship with his mom is total mess. They both try to settle those infinite conflicts down in their own way but nothing works for good, each time they restart, everything goes wrong. The film has its own definite perk being autobiographic picture of  Xavier's life. We don't exactly know how much truth is there but it still is charming.

The movie talks very easily about the problems in common mother-and-child relations: misunderstandings and indifference, love and hate, personal attachments and aversions. But it never points who is guilty, because both are and the only mistake Hubert and his mom make it blaming each other and shifting their own blames on the other side. Herewith they don't talk, don't ask how was the day, don't try to learn what they both like or hate. It seem's they have not talked since Hubert was 5 and mom thinks that her son is the same, but he's changed and he keeps silence about it.

Chantale (mother) loves her son, as much as she can but she does not care and is not able to care of him. She more enjoys watching TV or eating, however hates cooking. She forgets things, mostly does not keep promises, is impulsive and does plenty of stupid things regretting later. But never understands that she hurts her son. Despite that she's attached to son, does not let him go, somehow she feel comfortable playing a role of bad mother.

Hubert loves his mom, but can't stand of being her son. He can't stand her ignorance, irresponsibility. As a rebel teenager Hubert's got his own life, boyfriend, friends and lots of different ideas about everyday life. His hate towards mom is result of his great love in childhood, as life has changed, Hubert's feelings have  also transformed. In his video diary he calls it "different love" which I understood not as love of mother and child but love of man and woman (though Hubert is gay), accordingly he hates a mother in Chantale but loves a woman in her.

As far as this is his first try I liked the screenplay and the way Dolan decided to tell us the story. That was easy to perceive and made you think pretty much. A lot of dialogues, that I enjoy most, made film more dynamic, emotions - more sincere and the idea - more dramatic.

But I see Xavier to be better director than an actor or writer. He has a vision, he can see the feelings, I guess. The movie was beautifully made, with some delightful scenes and cinematographic tricks that made a film more desiring to watch. There was too much emotions transferred through non-emotional subjects, for instance butterflies on the wall.

In spite of Dolan's pretty good acting, the cast was not that good it could be. Anne Dorval (who played Chantale) seemed to overplay her role and some of others underplay. But I guess that shall be one of the best starts ever in movie history.




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