- Colin Fraser
THREE AND A HALF STARS A man turns to life of crime when his deerskin jacket implores him to kill people.
Jean Dujardin, Adele Haenel
COMEDY FRENCH LANGUAGE #DEERSKIN
If you were asked to describe this surreal comedy from Quentin Dupieux, ‘bonkers’ might just do it. An expanded short, or compact feature, call it what you will, but 77 minutes spent with Georges (THE ARTIST’s Jean Dujardin) could well leave you gasping for air.
He turns to a life of crime after buying a deerskin jacket. Why? Because Georges must be the only one to wear a coat and is compelled to kill those who don’t comply. He’s egged along by the jacket itself. Yes, it talks to Georges.
Driven by this belief, Georges acquires more deerskin clothing - trousers, a hat, and so forth - as he kills more people and documents his mission on video. The footage inspires Denise, a young woman who assumes the role of director, to mold Georges and his video into a breakthrough feature. Clearly, she’s also bonkers.
DEERSKIN is a daft film - man turns murderer on behalf of his jacket - but is an entrancingly loopy lark nonetheless. Buy into the absurd notion that drives Dupieux’s short feature and there’s a lot to enjoy.
Ostensibly written for the festival circuit, it has all the trappings of a cult movie that also finds time to ponder what obsesses an obsessive. There’s some noodling about exestintial disorders and our willingness to engage in darkness, especially when the action is caught on video.
Bizarre? Yes. Fun? Absolutely! Does it leave you feeling guilty and perhaps a little dirty for enjoying Georges ill behaviour? Well yes, but that too is part of the fun. Bonkers isn’t it.