Friday, April 8, 2022

Gagarine - Movie Review

The Movie: Gagarine

The Directors: Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh

The Cast: Alseni Bathily, Lyna Khoudri, Jamil McCraven, Finnegan Oldfield

The Story: A brilliant teenager attempts to save Gagarine Cité, a vast red brick housing project on the outskirts of Paris that he has called home for his entire life.

The Review:
So, this is a really sweet, heartfelt story that will inspire you while also showing the pitfalls of economic inequality when it comes to the types of housing being provided to those who need it the most. The story focuses on Youri, a 16 year old boy who is determined to keep his housing project from being demolished by repairing it as much he can to pass building inspections. He also dreams of being an astronaut and is smart enough to probably be one if he had been raised under more prosperous circumstances where those types of opportunities are more available.

It really makes you wonder just how many brilliant minds are out there not reaching their potential and wasting away under the crush of poverty or politics or racial inequality. It was nice to see a movie handle a lot of social commentary without being heavy handed or preachy within the subject matter. I wouldn't say the movie is completely lighthearted either, there is actually a good balance which helps to keep things moving along nicely.

One of the things that really stands out for me with this movie is how beautiful the cinematography is with some great exterior shots and then a lot of great work inside the building like what you see below. Nothing is glossed over, there is more a focus on the natural state of the world that this movie exists in which is often broken and run down yet is so filled with life, you really feel like you are there.

The Verdict:
Gagarine is an inspiring and compelling commentary on a lot of the issues we deal with as a society today with a message that asks you to dream big and stay hopeful. Overall, this is a great debut effort from the directing duo of Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh.

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