2022 [FRENCH]

Drama / Thriller

IMDb Rating 6.7 10 740

Plot summary

January 06, 2023 at 03:19 AM


Albert Serra

Top cast

1.49 GB
French 2.0
24 fps
2 hr 45 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by slabihoud 7 / 10

A sloooow burner

Taking place on Tahiti, "Pacifiction" takes a long time to set the story in motion, though director Albert Serra gives us some images to think about. The images are beautiful and the camera dwells on many sets far too long. When I finally got to the end of the film I was tired and regretted that I could not feel as I should.

Well, here is the story: The High Commissioner of the Republic of France, De Roller, has little power but tries to keep peace on the island, when some native representatives inform him of a rumor, that nuclear testing is returning to the region.

Of course, everyone is upset by this idea, though no one seems to know anything in particular. But as De Roller starts to investigate, he finds a number of strange things going on, a group of sailors plus their captain, a Portuguese visitor who's passport has been stolen, foreign shady characters are popping up, a submarine has been sighted and so on.

The more De Roller pokes around, the less he can make any sense out of it but he begins to believe that there is truth in the rumor. In between he manages to coach a local dance group for their performance at his favorite night club, where he also chats with Shanna, a transsexual. Shanna has high hopes to become the secretary of the Commissioner, and De Roller certainly gives him reason to think so by taking him along on some of his visits. This relationship does not seem to be sexual, but the film gives no explanation to what it is that draws De Roller to Shanna.

I don't want to go into more details, but the film is certainly too long, I would say by an hour! Running 2:45 right now, there is no reason not to cut it down, some sidelines don't really advance the story. But despite the length, we hardly see any Tahitians who are not wearing costumes and perform for tourists. Which I don't think is close to reality.

Reviewed by matlabaraque 2 / 10

Boring like hell (in the tropics)

Pacifiction could look like a thriller when you watch the trailers however this plotless story will end up deceiving you on several aspects. As a matter of fact, you quickly realize there is no lesson to extract from this aimless story whose director seems to have had fun deceiving his spectators. All in all, it's a massive disappointement, for a total of 2h45 minutes of soulless and unattractive filming.

When you read the synopsis, one would expect a political explanation about Tahiti, this French "département" with special rules, and let's say an atypical population. Or maybe one would expect a focus on the problems of the islanders or some sort of a a criticism towards this new colonialism represented by this high commissioner called Monsieur De Roller (the main character of the film). However, nothing happens as expected in this film; worse; nothing happens AT ALL !

The so called high commissioner wanders around the island, speaks to his mates, argues with some unions guys, seduces some travestite dancer who is as admirative as suprisingly dumb, but the worst is that you just can't find out any logic to all his actions. You feel left in the lurch, and abandoned by the director after an hour or so as you clearly understand the film is going nowhere.

You never end up understanding who is this Monsieur De Roller (I believe he was a politician for real, but I have never found out his legacy), you never find out why he drives around the island aimlessly, by himself, without any goal, without any vice even (except the one of listening to himself), without charisma except his megalomania and narcissism. The film is full of scenes with long silences punctuated by De Roller's long speeches which are after the second one a massive bore.

Did you say suspense? There is NONE ! We understand quite quickly that the hallucinations of the high commissioner are only the results of his excesses and the contempt of the French government towards the natives.

A real pity if you think about the expectations one could have after having seen the trailers. I wonder if the director did not feel a bit of contempt towards his spectators by leading them astray on purpose with no taste for aesthetics what so ever.

I would keep one scene though... the surfers contest with impressive (one scene only) waves and impressive landscape. Don't waste your time please !!!!

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