Alexander, a boy who has been raised in a sequestered commune, finds that his increasing unwillingness to fall in line puts him on a collision course with Gregori, the society’s charismatic and domineering leader.
Rather than use my own plot summary I think it would be easier to evaluate this film using IMDb’s own plot summary which is as follows;
“Alexander, a boy who has been raised in a sequestered commune, finds that his increasing unwillingness to fall in line puts him on a collision course with Gregori, the society’s charismatic and domineering leader”
Perhaps the problem for me with this film lay with my expectations of it and, given its premise, I expected a film that was about a brutal man and his tyrannical regime coupled with a young boy trying to overthrow his regime at every opportunity. Although there are certain moments in this film where both elements exist neither element is really given the focus required to make it a particularly good story or an involving experience. The film is supposed to be about Alexander trying to overthrow Gregori’s regime, but examples of him trying to do this are few and far between and I also felt his reasons for wishing to do so were rather flimsy. It didn’t really help that I never really saw Gregori as a tyrant either (I felt he was more misguided than anything) and this is another reason that I became drawn away from the film as the characters and their actions never really felt believable.
Other more noticeable issues with the film lie with the pacing which is slow and tedious. There are long stretches of the film where nothing seems to happen making the film feel quite boring most of the time. I also felt that the film was unfocused and had no central narrative – Alexander flits between being an assassin and an objector with very little hanging these story arcs together. Although the film uses these 2 aspects to tell Alexander’s story neither of the story arcs are developed particularly well making the whole film feel woefully and frustratingly undercooked.
The only real positive about this film was Vincent Cassel who can almost make anything watchable and I also thought the kid who played Alexander did a solid job too. However, with weak material, unfocused plotting, and pretentious artsy direction Partisan was always destined to fail.
Director: Ariel Kleiman
Writers: Sarah Cyngler, Ariel Kleiman
Stars: Vincent Cassel, Jeremy Chabriel, Florence Mezzara
Release Date: 6 May 2015 (France)
Filming Locations: Morning Star Estate, Mount Eliza, Victoria, Australia
Format : Matroska
Format version : Version 4 / Version 2
File size : 3.06 GiB
Duration : 1 h 38 min
Overall bit rate : 4 470 kb/s