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INFOBOX
Monica La Mitraille / Machine Gun Molly

Director:

Pierre Houle

Screenplay

Luc Dionne, Sylvain Guy (Based on Georges-Hébert Germain’s book; “Souvenirs de Monica”)

Producers

Lorraine Richard, Luc Martineau

Budget

7 M

Locations

Montreal, Canada

Language

French

Cast

Céline Bonnier (Monica) ; Roy Dupuis (Gérald) ; Patrick Huard (Gaston) ; Frank Schorpion (Michael) ; Rémy Girard (Morissette) ; Isabelle Blais (Sylvana) ; Marc Labrèche (Théo)

Distributor

Alliance Atlantis Vivafilm

Genre

Biographic Drama

Duration

 123 minutes

Release Date

April 30, 2004

 

 

 

Once again we approach a Roy Dupuis film with this critical question: if it weren’t for the distinct possibility that I could be talked into selling my first-born in return for a glimpse of any new RD film, would I want to watch this?  And on this occasion, thankfully, the answer has got to be ‘yes!’. Not that you necessarily have to sanction all the violence and the gratuitous thrill-seeking, nor sympathise with a central character who compensates for a deprived upbringing by escalating her family’s taste for petty crime to full-on armed robbery. But the story is coherent and exciting despite the predictability of the ending, and the characters are well-cast with a uniform balance of acting talent. On first viewing, the avid Roy fan may be a little distracted waiting for his belated entrance, but once you know what to expect in that department, second and subsequent viewings allow you to appreciate the film as a whole.

Of course, this is patently a Céline film, borne out of a long professional collaboration with director Pierre Houle (Omertà II, Tag, Tag – Épilogue) and his trusty screenwriter Luc Dionne, and is a sort of role-reversal of the Last Chapter situation, with Roy in a supporting part as the lead character’s love interest. Or at least one of them.

For Monica la Mitraile, adapted from Georges-Hébert Germain’s novel based on the life of Monique Sparvieri, is woven around Monica’s relationships with her men, Roy’s character Gerald being the last in a line of professional criminals. He is preceded by Scottish hard man Michael Burns (Frank Schorpion standing in as a last-minute replacement for Ron Lea), the urbane older man who spells young Monica’s escape from her impoverished home life.  But Michael turns out to be an abusive drunk, and after he walks out his place is taken by the diffident and self-effacing taxi-driver Gaston Lussier (a nicely understated performance by Patrick Huard, currently extending his range as a serious actor). Gaston can provide the highs of bank robbing, but is too unassuming to feed Monica’s constant thirst for excitement.  Cue natural charmer Gerald Simard who, according to Germain’s description might have been as charismatic in real life as Roy himself, despite being a compulsive burglar and ex-con.

As we know, Roy is famous for evoking enormous sympathy for the flawed characters he has played, but significantly he never asks for compassion for Gerald. Charming, good-looking (even in 60’s polyester), passionate and devil-may-care though he is, he is a moral bankrupt who deserves no pity. It’s odd to watch Roy as an out-and-out bad guy, but a credit to his performance that even the avid Roy fan can find no redeeming characteristics in Gerald.

 

INFOBOX
Monica La Mitraille / Machine Gun Molly

Director:

Pierre Houle

Screenplay

Luc Dionne, Sylvain Guy (Based on Georges-Hébert Germain’s book; “Souvenirs de Monica”)

Producers

Lorraine Richard, Luc Martineau

Budget

7 M

Locations

Montreal, Canada

Language

French

Cast

Céline Bonnier (Monica) ; Roy Dupuis (Gérald) ; Patrick Huard (Gaston) ; Frank Schorpion (Michael) ; Rémy Girard (Morissette) ; Isabelle Blais (Sylvana) ; Marc Labrèche (Théo)

Distributor

Alliance Atlantis Vivafilm

Genre

Biographic Drama

Duration

 123 minutes

Release Date

April 30, 2004

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