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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Teens > Foreign > French > Games Of Love & Chance

Games Of Love & Chance (France)


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: C-     Feature: C



There is a cycle of films that are trying to capture the new era of lost youth and youth violence has gone by mostly unnoticed and is happening in the cinema of several countries.  Larry Clark’s Kids and Bully (the later film the better of the two) in the U.S., Scott Smith’s Roller Coaster (to some extent) in Canada and a few out of France.  The more recent Games Of Love & Chance (2003) is not as brutal as Petits Freres (2000, aka Little Fellas, reviewed elsewhere on this site) or quite as successful.  Both films just cannot seem to achieve ironic distance, instead settling for “realism” or “naturalism” that backfires.


While Petits Freres wants to wallow in what it is showing and is ambiguous in what it is saying about it, Games Of Love & Chance does achieve more sympathy for the characters, though they are not always as severely criminal children.  However, without sounding picky, this does not seem realistic enough.  One believes the coldness of the children to some extent, but director Abdellatif Kechiche falls into to many conventions of narrative while Petits Freres loves violence and verbal overkill.  There is an amazing story to be told of those being left behind in the projects outside of Paris, one more vital than ever to hear about with the intense protests going on in the country now, but neither film gives us that portrait or its connection to the “real politick” of the country.  Games Of Love & Chance breaks down into a revenge/betrayal tale we have seen too often.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is softer and more definition challenged than usual since this was shot on tape.  Maybe that was the only option, but it proves once again that it is no match for film, all the way up to digital High Definition.  The color poorness and tired cliché of shaky camerawork does not help.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 sound is simple stereo at best.  Extras include four trailers for other New Yorker DVD releases and a foreign trailer for the film.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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