Grand Central (2013) Out Now on DVD…

My review of French arty eco-erotic drama Grand Central is over at Flickering Myth right now. . .and also appears below…



There is a simple enough metaphor running through the heart of this alternately frustrating and picturesque film. It is that love and passion is a nuclear reaction. It can also be a sickness, inspired by this most fear inducing of energy sources. Unfortunately this sickness, while inducing plenty of painful paranoia does not inspire much in the way of imaginative inspiration…

Focusing on the unskilled Gary (Tahar Rahim, star of A Prophet, 2009) as he attempts to find a job at a nuclear plant in the Rhone valley, the film can be seen as something of a tale of abuse. Subjecting the young man to gradually increasing doses of nuclear contamination plus mostly outdoor sex sessions with the engaged Karole (Seydoux), the erotic drama meets environmental thriller is certainly original in its main concerns.  However, the story begins to pale as it becomes clear that the essential plotting and characterisation does not progress much futher than the sex, paranoia of discovery and an inexplicit feeling of possible racial abuse.

Aside from the film itself, the soundtrack from French film composer and avant garde synth-pop artist Rob is well worthy of a listen. As an extra note of quality it works extremely well within the context of  the images of the verdant pastures of the valleys and fields.

The film is shot wonderfully well with the French countryside looking perfectly resplendent, as the two lovers meet up for their regular trysts in the shadow of the nuclear plant. But  the perfect capture of the valley side can not disguise the fact that the film as a whole is served up slightly confused and luke-warm. By the end the audience could well be wondering what the actual message was.

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