|“You Were Never Really Here,” by British director Lynne Ramsay|
With the last film to be presented for the Palme d’Or, which will be awarded on Sunday, May 28, the Cannes Film Festival offered us a short excursion into violence. UK director Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here tells the story of Joe. This psychopathic mercenary is entrusted with a lucrative mission: to bring back the missing daughter of a senator. The ruthless man then sets out to do what he can do: massacring people until he reaches his goal.
His favorite weapon? A mechanic’s hammer to smash his opponents’ skulls. You’ve understood, You Were Never Really Here will be well watered by blood, but also by love. For Joe, the ruthless man is charming and very considerate towards his old mother whom he particularly loves. The television program of Granny is not insignificant either: Psycho of Hitchcock. Both know by heart the famous scene with the stabbing in the shower.
Joe, the tortured veteran incarnated by Joaquin Phoenix
Welcome to the world of Lynne Ramsay. During her last appearance in the competition, she had frightened us with the story of a carnage at school committed by a 16-year-old student, We Need to Talk about Kevin. This time, she concocted a psychoanalytic horror film at the crossroads between Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, Cronenberg’s A History of Violence, and Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive. Joaquin Phoenix interprets with phlegm this tortured veteran, marked by scars on the body and visibly traumatized since his childhood. A scene recurs constantly in his thought: a game of Countdown and choking.
In this effective thriller – without feeling the cult film -, Lynne Ramsay ingeniously affects the out-of-scope shots. It goes without saying that the camera transforms the crossings into the nocturnal New York into abstract paintings of a certain beauty. And the skyline of skyscrapers is transformed into an abyss of the human soul. Joe will soon be on the edge of the abyss. Once the girl was released, he heard on TV that the senator had jumped from the 22nd floor. Then he finds himself between the hammer and the anvil. With each new death on his way, he realizes to have found in the senator’s daughter an alter ego …