Torpedo, a family comedy
by Aurore Engelen
21/03/2012 - This week, Torpedo [trailer], a first film by the young director from Brussels, Matthieu Donck, is out in Belgium and France. Starring François Damiens who is still convincing in a style that he has often adopted before, Torpedo is a family comedy, literally, much sweeter than it is sour, about a loser who is everything except flamboyant and who tries, in a final attempt, to find redemption in his father's eyes. He has a plan, though some might call it unnecessarily complicated. He borrows a child and recruits his ex-girlfriend to convince a sofa salesman, whom he also kidnaps, that he has a family, all to allow his father to meet Belgian cycling legend Eddy Merckx. On the road from Brussels to Brest, this colourful team learn to know each other, creating bonds stronger than blood.
Torpedo's odd team is very reminiscent of that in Eldorado [trailer], especially with Renaud Mayeur's music. Similarly, the pair made up by Michel Ressac and his putative son is also reminiscent of a similar pair in The Carriers Are Waiting. It is clear that, in one small generation, Belgian cinema's "new" wave (here Bouli Lanners and Benoît Mariage, who was also Matthieu Donck's professor at the IAD) has had time to plant fertile seeds, from which grows films that are both tender and off-beat. It's cinema not scared to make the audience laugh (and smile), while still remaining auteur cinema.
Torpedo, produced by K2, with the support of the Centre du cinéma et de l'audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie Bruxelles and Wallimage-Bruxellimage, is distributed in Wallonia and Brussels by Les Films de l'Elysée, in13 cinemas.
Other European releases this week include L'Oncle Charles (lit. "Uncle Charles") by Etienne Chatilliez, Farewell, My Queen [trailer, film focus] by Benoît Jacquot, and
(Translated from French)