Written by: Giuseppe Rijitano on July 17th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: USA, January 22nd, 2010
Director: Daniel Grou (aka Podz)
Writer: Patrick Senécal (Novel & Adaptation)
Cast: Claude Legault, Rémy Girard, Martin Dubreuil, Fanny Mallette, Rose-Marie Coallier, Alexandre Goyette.
DVD released: August 23rd, 2010
Approximate running time: 111 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: 18 (UK)
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo French
Subtitles: English Hardcoded
DVD Release: E1 Entertainment
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £12.99
Prominent surgeon Bruno (Claude Legault) and his gallery owner wife Sylvie (Fanny Mallette) live a happy uneventful life until one day their 8 year old daughter Jasmine doesn’t return home from school. She is found later the same day raped and murdered, her body left in a field. The police are swift in the apprehension of the killer, a local man and known pedophile, Anthony Lemaire (Martin Dubreuil). The loss of their daughter leaves Bruno and Sylvie drowning in a whirlpool of grief and despair. Bruno’s emotions however quickly begin to turn from guilt to anger and a desire for revenge. While being transported to court the killer is kidnapped by Bruno and taken to a secluded location where the surgeon has prepared a room with medical equipment and restraints. With the killer now in his custody Bruno contacts his wife and the police revealing his intentions; Lemaire will be tortured for 7 days and then executed on the final day, what would have been Jasmine’s 9th birthday.
It’s another French language torture flick! Rather than France or Belgium this time we’re bound for Canada; Qeubec to be exact. A cut above (pardon the pun) the average torture porn product however in that this one is based on a best-selling novel, ‘Les sept jours du talion’ (literally ‘seven days of retaliation’) and there’s a reasonable excuse for the brutal shenanigans that unfold, so often in these type of films there really isn’t. Directed by veteran Canadian TV director Daniel Grou and starring a number of excellent character actors including Rémy Girard as the police inspector charged with finding and stopping Bruno. It’s a good looking film, languidly shot, excellent cinematography with a tragic, cold mood pervading every frame. The acting is superb with the standout being Claude Legault as Bruno, a man driven to the very edge of despair. The scenes of torture are indeed intensely brutal but never feel overly exploitative which is quite an achievement for a film like this. Focusing less on the killer and his pain and more on the psychological effects the seven days are having on Bruno as he tries desperately to cling onto his humanity and some semblance of sanity, attempting to justify his actions through the opinions of others on the TV news and being haunted by the decomposing corpse of a deer.
So a fairly grim but polished little psychological thriller in the end with some graphic and disturbing elements of torture throughout – Haneke light if you like.
2.35:1 anamorphic transfer is very good; excellent contrast levels, details are sharp and colors are vivid, blacks are strong. Audio is French stereo and again it’s a very good track, clean and clear, the score is well balanced with the dialogue and ambient soundtrack. English subtitles are hardcoded so they can’t be removed.
No extras provided on this screener.