by Del Harvey
At Sundance and on VOD
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Daniel Grou’s first effort, 7 Days (Les 7 Jours du Talion) is a harrowing tale about a father’s revenge upon the pedophile who rapes and murders his eight-year old daughter Jasmine (Rose-Marie Coallier).
Claude Legault is the father, Bruno Hamel, a successful doctor and family man who is frustrated at the plodding procedures of the legal system. He decides to take justice into his own hands and takes captive the nauseatingly sleazy pedophile (Martin Dubreuil as Anthony Lemaire) with the intent towards exacting vengeance. What follows is a range of grueling emotions which are painful to sit through at times, although the crime itself is enough that most of the audience will find itself rooting the father on.
7 Days is compelling filmmaking employed to full and thrilling effect by the director, Grou, who easily achieves and sustains an atmosphere of suspense which is at once deliberate and stunning as the narrative unfolds through deft use of the camera.
The French-Canadian film is impressive for its performances, which hold an equally significant role in the film’s success. As the father, Claude Legault is evokes both a subtle and intense portrayal of a man pushed to the limits. His work matched by Anthony Lemaire’s completely pathological turn as the object of the father’s progressively destructive hostility.
Kudos to filmmaker Grou and screenwriter Patrick Senecal foran excellent job of wringing the inherent drama out of characters and a story which, in other hands, may have focused overmuch upon the gory and horrific. The result is a starkly powerful investigation into the grim psyche of a real monster, and the depths to which sane and rational people are driven in their desire to protect those most basic of institutions, family and society.
7 Days is a Sundance Selects release premiering nationwide On Demand on January 23rd following its Sundance Film Festival world premiere. Available on BrightHouse, Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox, DIRECTV, and Time Warner.
Del Harvey is the founder of Film Monthly, a film teacher, a writer and a film critic in Chicago.
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