Dheepan feels timely with its story of the immigrant experience, but Audiard is never one for simple morality tales, and complicates his immigrants’ pasts with violence and rebellion. Despite that we’re never in doubt that Dheepan (Anthonythasan) and his fake wife Yalini (Srinivasan) are good people forced into desperate situations.
Both leads are fantastic and believable, with elegant direction from Audiard, bringing their relationship to life. A late plunge into violence feels a bit jarring, but appropriately so. This isn’t about the rise and fall of criminal empires, it’s about one family’s struggle to survive. Everything else is incidental.
Audiard’s direction is masterful, but while the script is insightful in small doses, it fails to reach the peaks of drama and sorrow it gets so close to.
CAST: Jesuthasan Antonythasan, Kalieaswari Srinivasan, Claudine Vinasithamby, Vincent Rottiers
DIRECTOR: Jacques Audiard
WRITERS: Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain, Noé Debré
SYNOPSIS: Dheepan is a Sri Lankan Tamil warrior who flees to France with a fake wife and child and ends up working as a caretaker outside Paris.