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  Deerskin Killer Style!
Year: 2019
Director: Quentin Dupieux
Stars: Jean Dujardin, Adèle Haenel, Albert Delpy, Coralie Russier, Laurent Nicolas, Marie Bunel, Pierre Gomme, Caroline Piette, Stephane Jobert, Geraldine Schitter, Panayotis Pascot, Youssef Hajdi, Simon Thomas, Tom Hudson, Marine Cayon, Thomas Blanchard
Genre: Horror, Comedy, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Georges (Jean Dujardin) has taken most of the money out of his joint bank account, the one he shares with his estranged wife, and decided to buy something he can really appreciate, something he can claim as his own, a genuine objet d'art. After a long drive he ends up in the countryside and the home of an elderly man (Albert Delpy) who has a deerskin jacket to sell, and when Georges claps eyes on it he knows immediately he has made the correct decision. He swears quietly as the garment is brought into his presence, and there's no question he is going to purchase it, it is magnificent. Oh, and the old geezer throws in an outdated video camera too.

Quentin Dupieux had by this stage established himself as a filmmaker dedicated to weirdness, and arguably had ever since his previous incarnation as Mr Oizo, who earned a UK Number 1 single with a tune off a trouser advert. Not content to rest on his laurels, he had move onwards to these carefully constructed sketches of human strangeness, and not only human, either, but there was no supernatural element this time around in Deerskin, it was, by a conservative estimation, the study of a man suffering some form of mental breakdown in the ruins of his marriage. Yet his madness has not made him weaker, it has rendered him far stronger. In a mad way.

That madness has boosted his conviction that he is right and the rest of the world is wrong, we all have encountered people like that, but Georges takes it to extremes, all thanks to the perceived power of the deerskin jacket he is now obsessed with. The small mountain town he winds up in is, on the other hand, crushingly ordinary, to offset his aberrations that are now guiding him - he believes he is conducting conversations with the clothing, for example. But for the vast majority of folks, you take it on trust that the person you have met is operating on at least a basic level of sense, therefore nobody really pulls him up on his behaviour, nor his increasingly bizarre requests of them.

As if being captivated by the jacket is not enough, the masculine desire to be unique encourages him to a new preoccupation, where he decides that he must be the only person who wears a jacket on the planet. Part of the absurdity of this fresh crusade is that the weather is drawing in and snow beginning to fall, so obviously the populace are going to be wearing warmer clothes, and that includes jackets, but that's not good enough for Georges who must stand alone in a wardrobe that is turning more and more deerskin based - boots, hat (taken from the corpse of a suicide in the hotel he is staying in), trousers and finally gloves. If he could wear deerskin underpants you imagine he would opt for a pair of those too, but then there's the emergence of a macabre tone that tips this into horror.

It's not exactly scary, it's still a comedy and while it's not going to make everyone laugh, if you are on the director's wavelength you are going to be chuckling throughout at the protagonist's antics. He has something of an enabler here, a barmaid called Denise (Adèle Haenel) who tells him she has a hobby editing footage when he bluffs that he is making a film with that video camera. We cannot work out whether she is gullible (she gives him money when his bank account is closed by his never-seen wife) or whether she is bored and encouraging him for her own amusement, and she certainly has no part of the eventual killing spree Georges undertakes to rid the world of jacket wearers other than himself. There are essentially two types of weirdo movies, one where weird things happen to ordinary people, and this kind, where weird people happen to ordinary things. Linking them is that not everyone is going to "get" them, but if you get this, you will be entertained over the brief running time. Music by Janko Nilovic.

Aka: Le Daim

[Released in cinemas by Picturehouse Entertainment on Friday 16th July 2021.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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