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Detour makes all the wrong turns

by Archives September 15, 2009

With its dimly-lit set pieces, gullible men, sexually persuasive “femme fatales” and its not-so-sunny view of society, film noir is a difficult style to pull off without descending into cliché.
Détour, a new film noir from Québécois filmmaker Sylvain Guy’s, misses the mark.
The film is a disappointment from the start. The conventional story follows a Leo Huff (Luc Picard), a married man, who is seduced by the Lou (Isabelle Guérard), the femme fatale.
Unhappy with his work and his marriage, Huff is bored with his life. He finds an escape from the drudgery with the rebellious Lou, who brings passion into his life.
The plot thickens when Lou’s abusive boyfriend shows up and Leo tries to prevent any further violence from happening .
While the plot twists are intriguing, they are marred by poor execution.
Guérard is memorable as the femme fatale in an otherwise forgettable film. She brings a bit of life to an otherwise over-the-top and melodramatic screenplay. Picard, on the other hand, fails to bring any depth or originality to his role.
The filmmaker’s crucial error in Détour is that his story is unoriginal. It is an amalgamation of other, better films. Good film noir is based on new and adventurous material, none of which is present in Détour.
The film’s dialogue and imagery are also stale.
There is a point where the two leads stare at each other in awkward silence, until he whispers into her ear, “you are so beautiful.” He then turns his head and looks out to the sea.
This is definitely one Détour to avoid.

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