French Film Reviews: Dans La Brume, Starring Romain Duris and Olga Kurylenko

French Film Reviews: Dans La Brume, Starring Romain Duris and Olga Kurylenko

Throwing away the usual tropes and jiggery-pokery – CGI, Inception ‘bwong’, stilettoed starlets teetering away from tornadoes yet always magically two steps ahead – Dans la brume strips the post-apocalyptic epic back to basics. When a toxic fog engulfs Paris, settling below the rooftops, Mathieu and his ex-wife Anna are thrust into a race for survival.

While they find refuge in their building’s attic apartment, their daughter Sarah, who suffers from an immunodeficiency disorder, remains safely within the confines of her isolation pod two floors below. But the glass lung’s battery is fast running out and with no hope of rescue, they have no choice but to brave the deadly mist to keep her alive. Tightly paced and refreshingly unpredictable, this auteur take on the disaster movie is a game changer.

Director: Daniel Roby
Starring: Romain Duris, Olga Kurylenko

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  • Michael James
    2019-06-06 10:48:17
    Michael James
    This Franco-Canadian production is known as Just a Breath Away in the rest of the world. One might have thought that the film would reference eco-political concerns, given the increasing number of days of severe air pollution in Paris the past few years, plus the unsettling rise of far-right politics the world over and activism on inequality and climate-change, all of which appear to be building towards something. This would have been in a strong tradition in previous iconic horror movies like Invasion of the Bodysnatchers or Night of the Living Dead (both referencing the communist scare of '50s America), or The Fog and The Mist which have a similar basic premise. But it doesn't do any of these things and sticks to a fairly straightforward superficial plot, which is a tad disappointing. Indeed the central two, very attractive, characters with a special-needs daughter needing saving, while "saving the world" looks a bit (a lot) like it may be designed to appeal to Hollywood (say, a second tier Tom Cruise feature, indeed Kurylenko was in one, Oblivion) rather than more sophisticated Franco-Canadian audience expectations. Alas it hasn't really jibed with either, plus there is minimal character development. One cannot compete with Hollywood on the same basis (ie. special effects, budgets) so really needs these other elements. Sad to say, this also seems to apply to Romain Duris' career, which, while still starry in France, seems to me to suffer from lack of good material rather than lack of talent.