We will end up together: Guillaume Canet power 2 [Critique]

Darker, more bitter and therefore even more exciting than Les Petits Mouchoirs, a dazzling sequel.

Released in May 2019 at the cinema, We’ll end up together, the continuation of small handkerchiefshad pleased First. We are republishing our review on the occasion of its rebroadcast on W9, this Sunday.

The following exercise reminds us that cinema is at least as much an industry as an art. In 99.99% of cases, we surf on a success without taking the time to dig into the situations and the characters. The only watchword: strike the iron while it is still hot. By this yardstick, We’ll end up together out of place. Firstly, because we can hardly accuse him of surfing on any wave when the box of Small Handkerchiefs goes back nine years. It’s even quite a challenge to embark on an adventure where the protagonists have much more to lose than to gain. Nine years ago – with the exception of François Cluzet and Marion Cotillard, who already won an Oscar – Gilles Lellouche, Laurent Lafitte, Pascale Arbillot & co did not enjoy the same notoriety as today. In a way, they are putting their title back into play on more than unstable ground. But there is something even more singular in the desire to embark on this sequel. An even crazier bet. Will the public want to rediscover these characters when the success of Small Handkerchiefs is based on a strange misunderstanding? How could such a bitter work on human relationships symbolize a celebration of friendship to some extent? And what eagerness would one have, then, to hear from those who seem to have friends only in name? However, very quickly, we understand that this question will be precisely at the center of this second episode, more mature and denser. The opening scene sets the tone. The band does not find themselves banally, hugging and kissing each other. She does it reluctantly. Because the death of their friend Ludo blew everything up and caused deep wounds. Even if they miss seeing each other no more. Anyway, to some of them. The idea is therefore born among them to go and surprise Max (François Cluzet) for his birthday. And the result is short. The surprise, quickly swept away, does not delight Max. These outstretched hands – against their will for some – attack him: he has lost everything and is ashamed to admit it to those he used to invite as a great lord every summer; Véronique (Valérie Bonneton) left him; his business has gone downhill and he is forced to put his house up for sale. And even if he has found love again with Sabine, interpreted by Clémentine Baert, the fact of seeing this band tumble again violently sends him back to this glorious past.

Les Petits handkerchiefs or the triumph of the gang of friends by Guillaume Canet

This backwards opening sets the tempo for what is to follow, against the Small Handkerchiefs. To oblivion the unsaid and the pathos. With another decade on their hands, the characters have no time to waste. Many have lost their illusions: Marie (Marion Cotillard), who dreamed of changing the world, has come back from everything; Antoine (Laurent Lafitte), who wanted to break through as an actor, is the hard-working assistant to Eric (Gilles Lellouche), who has become the star he will never be, and Vincent (Benoît Magimel) knows that between Max and him, any love story is impossible. Everyone is aware that just because we were friends once doesn’t mean we always have to be. That to end up together, you have to tell each other face to face the remorse, the regrets and the reproaches. It is necessary to put some – and to take some – full of the mouth.

Canet excels in these cathartic outbursts. In the writing as in the staging, more held and sharp than on The Little Handkerchiefs. His satire of human relationships hits the bull’s eye: there is often laughter and humiliation more frequently than in turn. The moments of pure comedy are rarer: the film accepts its cynicism. But if he knocks, it’s to better caress. Because when the emotion is born, it does not seem artificial. Yes, human beings are imperfect, a little cowardly, deceitful and self-centered, assures Canet here. But there’s only one way for them to get through this: together. Despite their cowardice, their trickery and their egos. That’s exactly why we love this We’ll end up together : because he never tries to be friendly and catches you by surprise. And brings the proof of the depth acquired by its director, always as brilliant in his direction of actors – old as newcomers (José Garcia in competition with Max from whom he wants to steal everything: his restaurants, his barracks, his woman…). And if we gave them an appointment in ten years?

Guillaume Canet: “The heroes of We will end up together reflect my imperfections”

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