Sunday, February 21, 2010

Review - 7 Days

A adolescent girl is raped and murdered on her way to school leaving her parents traumatized. After learning the murderer will only receive up to 15 years in prison, the young girl's father decides to take measures into his own hands and seeks vengeance on the man who raped and killed his daughter.

The topic of rape and murder are tough enough alone, but add an adolscent girl to the mix and you quickly have some very brutal subject matter to cope with. "7 Days / Les 7 jours du talion" not only copes with the pain of a mother and a father losing their child to a sex offender, but also weaves in a staggering and gutwrenching account on the pysche of vengeance.

Director Daniel Grou tends to focus on what lengths the father (Claude Legault) is willing to go to while seeking out his vengeance. Leaving the murderer's (Martin Dubreuil) intentions left up to your own interpretations. Grou does an exceptional job leading the viewer through the psychology within a father's revenge. He teeters a fine line between compassion for both the mourning father and the tortured. Leaving the viewer emotionally torn between two opposing and seemingly relentless forces.

"7 Days" is undoubtedly a extremely hard film to watch. It is brutally graphic, housing numerous head-turning torture sequences on screen. Faint of heart are sure to avert their eyes because Daniel Grou doesn't pull any punches with the violence throughout. The scenes together however, convey the psychological progression of Legault's character Bruno Hamel. A progression that is staggering to say the least. Which brings me to editing. Valerie Heroux does a fabulous job of piecing together Hamel's struggle. Both carrying out the torture and its effect on his psyche.

The cinematography by Bernard Couture is polished throughout "7 Days." His cinematic eye creates stark divisions between darkness and light, while also submerging the viewer into a uneasy subject matter. The lighting and settings compounded with all of the reoccurring shots combine to do a unmarred job of presenting an unsettled tone. A tone that is matched with near flawless performances by Claude Legault, Remy Girard, Fanny Mallette and Martin Dubreuil.

The resounding effect from the 105 minute film is overwhelming. It leaves the viewer with a lot to contemplate. As a father, I quickly connected with Bruno Hamel, but as the film and his revenge persisted, it becomes very hard to watch his downward spiral. It is a journey you'd hope no one would endure and watching it unfold along with the decisions that are made, is brutal.