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BRIFF 2022

Review: Krump

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- Cédric Bourgeois offers up a first feature film oscillating between dark comedy and nihilist crime movie, following the rickety adventures of a small-town thief who’s not cut out for crime

Review: Krump
Jean-Benoît Ugeux in Krump

Frank, aka Ronald Krump, has known better days. In his younger days, he was a porn star. It didn’t earn him respectability, but it did pay his rent and help him meet his family’s needs. Unfortunately, an accident at work put an end to Frank’s flourishing career, driving him into accumulated debt and dubious company, until one day, tragedy strikes: his 8-year-old granddaughter is kidnapped. In order to scrape together the necessary funds to pay the ransom, he turns to his old friend and partner in play, Bobby. It’s the beginning of a seriously zany race against the clock, which will lead to Frank’s fall.

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Indeed, just because you have a history as an actor doesn’t mean you can pretend to be a gangster. Frank makes mistake after mistake and Bobby is hardly helpful. So he turns to women, who are more down-to-earth, more efficient (his daughter’s mother, a former colleague), for whom vengeance may very well be a dish best served cold, but who are no less affected by the ambient gloom. Because, despite the tender complicity which Frank and his daughter Sophie share, and the pretty picture the film paints of their relationship, the prevailing atmosphere is anything but festive.

The little thief who comes across the various characters populating Krump [+see also:
interview: Cédric Bourgeois
film profile
]
- Cédric Bourgeois’ first feature film which was presented in a world premiere in the Brussels International Film Festival’s National Competition - scrapes a living out of petty crime and small-scale dealings. In fact, at the end of the day, the audience isn’t entirely sure who’s engaged in the most dangerous acts, people from everyday society or from the mafia. The dark humour flowing through this tale is reflected in the sombre mood presiding over the fate of Krump and his sidekicks, who end up wielding a wry perspective when it comes to their past, which they know will never be restored to glory in their eyes.

Starting out as an out-and-out comedy, the film slides into a certain degree of melancholy, notably carried by Jean-Benoît Ugeux (who appeared in Fishlove [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Zero Fucks Given [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Emmanuel Marre and Julie Le…
film profile
]
and SpaceBoy [+see also:
film review
interview: Olivier Pairoux
film profile
]
, and who also directed the short films Fratres and La Musique, among others), who co-wrote the screenplay and who also plays Frank, and Jean-Jacques Rausin, who plays Bobby.

Krump is produced by Belgian firm Roue Libre Production. The film was made following a call for lightweight productions launched in 2017 by the Wallonia Brussels Federation Film and Audiovisual Centre, which was aimed at helping young filmmakers wishing to make the leap to feature film to get a foot on the ladder within a shorter time frame. These films are characterised by limited budgets (sitting around 300,000 Euros) and more onerous times constraints, but their teams do benefit from total artistic freedom, not least because they’re not restricted by any broadcasting obligations. This initiative also gave rise to Mother Schmuckers [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Harpo and Lenny Guit
film profile
]
by Lenny and Harpo Guit, which was screened in Sundance 2021 and was likewise produced by Roue Libre.

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(Translated from French)

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