Jaloux, a film by Patrick Demers with Sophie Cadieux, Maxime Denommee
11 August 2011
Jaloux, trailer (French language), a drama thriller, is the debut feature of Montreal director Patrick Demers, who wrote the screenplay, which was largely improvised during filming, in conjunction with its three stars, Sophie Cadieux who plays Marianne, Maxime Denommée as Thomas, and Benoît Gouin as the neighbour of Thomas’ uncle.
Marianne and Thomas have been together eight years but boredom has begun to stifle their relationship. Thomas believes a weekend away at his uncle’s remote forest cabin, near Mandeville, in Quebec, will help them rediscover each other. Jaloux premiered in Australia at the 6th Canadian Film Festival in Sydney on Tuesday, 9 August, 2011.
To say Marianne and Thomas’ relationship is in strife would be an understatement. A fierce argument, which turns into a tussle, as they approach his uncle Michel’s (Daniel Gadouas) cabin, results in their car running off the gravel road into a ditch. Neither is hurt however, and they complete the trip to the nearby cabin on foot.
On reaching the cabin they are surprised to find Michel’s neighbour, Ben, has prepared a meal for them. Ben had however been expecting Michel and his girlfriend Helene (Marie-France Lambert), but after learning that Thomas is his nephew, and having taken a shine to Marianne, instead invites the couple to share the meal with him.
After a night’s heavy drinking Marianne and Thomas wake the next morning, having slept in separate parts of the house, with little memory of the evening before. Deciding a swim will help clear their heads, they wander down to the nearby lake, only to meet Ben again, much to Thomas’ annoyance, who happens to be out rowing his boat.
Not happy with the way Marianne is taking to Ben, Thomas instead decides to find a mechanic to repair their car. On his way into the local town though he, by chance, meets a cousin who he hasn’t seen in years. It is only then that Thomas comes to realise that the man claiming to be his uncle’s neighbour is in fact someone else altogether…
Jaloux is a slow burning thriller that is underscored by a simmering unease that threatens to boil over at any minute. This tension is accentuated by flashbacks and memories that may be from the night before, the week before, or possibly even months or years earlier.
But what here is real, imagined, or fantasy? While the storyline is relatively simple, what Jaloux lacks in narrative it makes up for in drama and suspense, as jealousy, lies, deceit, and guilt compound. Clichés bountiful in a story of this nature are refreshingly absent, leaving the viewer uncertain as to what exactly will happen next.
Originally published Thursday 11 August 2011.