Country: Belgium, France.
Original title: Le Concert.
Genre: Comedy, Drama.
Director: Radu Mihaileanu
Actors : Mélanie Laurent, Miou-Miou, François Berléand…
Synopsis of The concert
Thirty years ago, Andrei Simoniovich Filipov, the renowned conductor of the Bolshoi orchestra, was fired for hiring Jewish musicians. Now a mere cleaning man at the Bolshoi, he learns by accident that the Châtelet Theater in Paris invites the Bolshoi orchestra to play there. He decides to gather together his former musicians and to perform in Paris in the place of the current Bolshoi orchestra. As a solo violin player to accompany his old Jewish or Gypsy musicians he wants Anne-Marie Jacquet, a young virtuoso. If they all overcome the hardships ahead this very special concert will be a triumph.
The concert, trailer
Critics of The Concert
The film keeps us engaged with its adventure quality and its romanticised journey of a heroic figure battling fate and his fellow musos for his rightful place on the podium – not driven by ego but by the harmony he finds in music … ‘the real communism,’ he tells Gavrilov in one key scene. Communists get ridiculed as do the Russians in general as well as the French. The Gypsies are given a fair go though, and music gets top billing.
Alone in the dark
Everything is loud and frantic and played as big as possible by an admittedly game cast, but the height of the humour seems to be Allo Allo-style translation mishaps. It’s the kind of over-excited nonsense that would have them rolling in the aisles in France but here it’s tedious, clumsy and irritating before deciding that it doesn’t actually want to be a galloping farce anymore but an emotional fable. The moral of the story is never trust a comedy from a country that thinks Jerry Lewis is funny.
Best for film
The lead cast is superb, with the partnership between the fanatically driven Andrei and shambling bear Sacha a particular treat. And whether or not you’re a fan of classical music, I defy you to be unmoved by the exquisitely constructed score, which leads inexorably towards the climactic performance which is the literal crescendo of the film. Le Concert could so easily have been overlong or too focused on the gravitas of its own storyline, but instead it soars and dives through the tangled skein of emotion surrounding the cast as delicately as does the concerto which drives Andrei and, ultimately, the whole film. I honestly cannot envisage of a way in which Radu Mihaileanu’s enchanting vision could be improved, and if anyone reading this has spent the last ten years assuming that nothing will beat X film or Y film in your estimations then I urge you to see Le Concert. Your eyes, ears and heart will be opened.