›› The Middle of a Lake - Le Milieu d'un Lac ‹‹

a short film by Guillaume Mainguet.

2017 | 22 mins | France.

the telling tale of brotherly love tested to breaking point.

Dave says:

Mounting tensions between brothers come to a head in this French drama, as co-writer and directed Guillaume Mainguet. Not that you're aware of that to begin with, as brothers Thierry (Satya Dusaugey of Tapette - The Mousetrap fame) and Vincent (Antoine Gouy) are on their best behaviour, having returned alongside their mother, sister and close friends of the family from the cremation of their late father; Daniel.

Gathering at the back of the family butcher shop for a final tribute to the man they all clearly miss, speeches are made, whilst food and drinks are seemingly ever flowing. Yet the amiable atmosphere is about to be broken when Thierry announces that Vincent has decided to leave the following evening, after they scatter their father's ashes in the middle of a nearby lake that he loved so much. It was a decision that Vincent had wanted to tell his mother; in private. Only in annoucing it to one and all, Thierry is hoping that the resulting embarrassment could persuade Vincent to stay to help him run the family business. But having rolled the dice, could the outcome be entirely the opposite?

With strong performances throughout and in particular from Dusaugey who is on fine form, as ever, this is a work that has a lot going for it and in particular how the opening montage of a series of candid moments make you feel as if you're eavesdropping on the conversations of family and friends, gathered around a table.

Yet at heart, this is the telling tale of brotherly love tested to breaking point, as here a hitherto unseen homophobic side to Thierry's character is revealed, if not a spot of envy over Vincent's decision to leave all troubles behind him for carefree days away in the sun, with his partner Olivier (Martin Buraud). The result is a poignant piece that showcases how the passing of a patriarch inevitably changes the dynamics of the family unit, making you question in this case, if things between the two brothers will ever be the same again?

›› available as part of THE MALE GAZE: THREE'S COMPANY shorts compilation.
›› posted: Sunday, 5th September, 2021.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - none. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 

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