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Fresh Bait (1995)

Cast: Marie Gillain, Marie Gillain, Olivier Sitruk, more...
Director: Bertrand Tavernier, Bertrand Tavernier
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Koch Lorber Films
Genre: Drama, Foreign, France, Crime
Running Time: 112 min.
Languages: French
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

This drama examines three amoral young people living in Paris. 18-year-old Nathalie (Marie Gillain) works in a clothing store and dreams of opening her own boutique in the United States. She shares an apartment with her boyfriend Eric (Olivier Sitruk) and his slow-witted pal Bruno (Bruno Putzulu); she pays the rent while they stay home and watch crime movies on television. All three are looking for a fast and easy way to make some money, so together they devise a plan. Nathalie will hang out in nightclubs, meet prosperous-looking men, and go home with them. Once she's inside their apartments, she'll let in Eric and Bruno, and they'll rob the place of cash and valuables. The plan works well at first, before things go wrong one night and Eric commands Bruno to kill their victim. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Upsetting--in an unusual manner by talltale August 18, 2005 - 5:14 PM PDT
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
"Who ARE these kids?" I suddenly wondered, with a shudder, a little over halfway through FRESH BAIT, Bertrand Tavernier's take on modern French youth via--evidently--a real-life tale that this deservedly acclaimed and wonderful director has the grace and class not to rub in our faces with some "based on a true story" notification at the film's start. By film's end, however, I was hoping, wanting, screaming for these dreadful kids' demise, by any means possible.

This is a feeling I don't have very often (and don't like having at all). It's the major reason I gave up on HBO's "The Sopranos" after a season and a half (more glamorization of the Mafia is the last thing our country needs, and don't try to tell me this isn't "glamorization" Watch an Italian film about the Mafia, if you want to understand its real ramifications for society.)

In any case, I suspect this "kill the creeps!" sentiment would not be the feeling Tavernier wants to engender in his viewers, so I wish the DVD came with an interview with the director. Unfortunately it offers only a so-so group interview with the three actors who essay the roles, and they are young and cute and seem fairly intelligent but don't offer much to go on. What their characters do in this film is horrible, unnecessary and stupid, and there is really little explanation for their actions--which is how I presume these events may have happened in real life.

Tavernier makes a gesture toward the lack of jobs for young people, but whether this is the kid's reality, the nation's--or that of western civilization--goes unexplored. There is a decided lack of parenting going on amongst all three, but this is often the case today--without the result leading to double homicide. I am among those who are happy to discover more questions than answers in my movie viewing, but since Tavernier usually occupies himself with themes and events that resonate richly, it's odd to see him covering this particular ground. Perhaps he wanted a change. Technically, and regarding script and direction, there's a lot here to like, but I still wonder why a world-class director embarked on this project.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 5.62)
8 Votes
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