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UKScreen Rating:

13 – Review

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Sébastien (George Babluani) is a poor Georgian immigrant in France, struggling to make ends meet to support his extended family. He’s earning what he can, repairing the roof of a rich recluse.
When his employer dies suddenly, Sébastien finds a cryptic job offer in the house, promising riches beyond his wildest dreams, but there’s no clue as to what the job entails.
Out of desperation, Sébastien adopts his late boss’s identity, jumps on a train and follows what, for a while, seems like a wild-goose chase, until he finds himself on the wrong side of a gambling game, where rich men bet money on the lives of the players.
It’s a ruthless game of Russian Roulette, with no way out but victory or death.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

For a low-budget film from an unknown film-maker, this is an impressive piece of drama.
It’s slow to get started, wasting too much time going into detail about the lives of minor characters who have little relevance to the story, but when it comes down to the crunch, the director ratchets up the tension admirably – gripping like a vice as players in the game fall, one by one.
Having no idea where the film is going, you’ll be on the edge of your seat.
But once the tension of the Russian Roulette has passed, the ending turns out to be a bit of an anti-climax, which doesn’t reward the viewer’s continued interest.
So to resort to the language of film-theory, top marks for act two, but rather closer to the bottom of the class for acts one and three.

Opens nationwide on 6th January 2006

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