Monday, June 13, 2016

Grand Central

French Film Festival 2016
Greenbelt 3 Cinema

"Grand Central" is set far away from the sleek and cosmopolitan Parisian environs. It occurs in a small industrial town where blue collar workers are the main characters in this drama. The local nuclear power plant is the place where most of the town folks irk their living. A highly dangerous workplace where the the risk to radiation exposure is a daily concern.

Out of this menace, an illicit romance develops between Gary, a drifter working for pittance at the plant and Karole (who also works there but in another department), the fiancee of Toni who happens to be one of Gary's co-workers. 

Both characters risk both their career and their moral fiber by having a passionate affair in such a closely knitted community. Tensions arise both from the hazards of their demanding work as well as from the torrid copulation they are desperately trying to hide. 

Sad to say, there is no deeper meaning or deeper purpose to their relationship. It is merely spurred by lust and nothing else. There is no lengthy  discussion about the future of their relationship. Even as they are thrown a major curve ball, the manner in which they both react is a study in contrast. Both of them visibly affected yet each of them sticking to what they know is right and learning to accept life and everything it offers, differently.

Lea Seydoux (one of the latest Bond girls) is luminously perfect for the role of Karole and her chemistry with Gary (Tahar Rahim) is palpable. Both Karole and Gary strike as tragic characters who might need our sympathy more than we are willing to admit. 

Towards the ending, there seems to be a tiny bright spark of hope for  Karole and Gary as the loud deafening sound of a potential meltdown at the plant reverberates through the entire town. No matter how tiny it might be ... the key word is hope. 

But, you see for me, in every love triangle there are always three people involved, obviously! I tend to feel a lot more sympathy for the one who gets cheated on than the ones who through some fluke of nature feel like it is justified to pursue the affair ... but that's just me, heh!

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