The shortest film competing for the 2015 Sydney Film Prize, Vincent is not short on heart. A French superhero story with a refreshing minimalist take and a realist twist, this is a very entertaining watch. Review after the jump.
When we meet Vincent he seems like someone who might be a little down on their luck. His limited possessions and clearly temporary accommodation are signs that his life is a transitory once. He seems ill-suited for physical labour, struggling to keep up with the stronger, more apt workers. Where he really seems at home is the water. In the water Vincent is truly alive, he seems content. When swimming, he displays an agility and athleticism which is not present on land.
We soon learn that Vincent is hiding something quite extraordinary, a superhuman strength he has when wet. This power completely vanishes when he’s dry. It’s revealed to us through small moments, as Vincent tries very hard to keep this power concealed. When a workmate gets in trouble, he decides to use his power to assist him, in turn, putting himself in danger of being exposed. He runs, agonized at the thought of leaving Lucie, a women he has recently fallen for. Protecting his secret may be easier than protecting his heart –but perhaps there’s a way he can do both.
This is a quietly beautiful film and one that I enjoyed immensely. Vincent feels like someone who could be a real person. There’s no cape or saving cities from bombs, just a seemingly average guy who happens to have a special power. The power isn’t shown as a hugely positive thing – in fact, it’s shown to be the opposite, more of a burden. Vincent is guarded as a result – the fear being found out looms over him.
Thomas Salvador writes, directs and stars as the titular character in Vincent – quite the achievement. He has created an extremely tight and minimalist film with Vincent, one which largely rests on his own excellent performance. With sparse dialogue, it is Vincent’s body language and facial expressions which tell most of the story. A highlight of the film is an excellent chase sequence, which proves that bombastic sound and CGI are not necessary to create a thrilling chase sequence.
By Sam McCosh
Director: Thomas Salvador
Writer(s): Thomas Salvador
Starring: Thomas Salvador, Vimala Pons, Youssef Hajdi
Runtime: 77 minutes
Remaining SFF Screening Dates: 9:30am, Sun 7th June (State Theatre)