GOODBYE, GOODBYE, idiots ★★★ ½
H, 87 minutes
French writer-director Albert Dupontel and Briton Terry Gilliam, who appears briefly in Dupontel’s Goodbye, goodbye, morons, are brothers in political pessimism.
Both show signs of believing in an imminent future where the bureaucracy has gone mad in its willingness to sacrifice individual rights to the false god of organizational efficiency.
Gilliam laid it all out in Brazil (1985), his absurd take on a society’s efforts to get its citizens to follow the line and it is clear that Dupontel took the lessons of the film to heart. You could read Goodbye, goodbye, morons like an update, sharing the same anarchic spirit and the same sense of ridicule.
It also demonstrates a healthy respect for the power of coincidence. When we first meet them, Suze Trappet (Virginie Efira) and Jean-Baptiste Cuchas – played by Dupontel – are unlikely allies. She is a hairdresser who has just received the sad news that she is about to die from an autoimmune disease contracted by the sprays she uses in her work. He is a civil servant who was brutally fired despite his technological genius because the boss wants to be surrounded by fresher faces. As a final insult, he will have to train those tyros before leaving.
It’s too much. He decides to kill himself, but his gun skills don’t match his computer skills and he survives by accidentally shooting at the desk.
He is now on the run and just at the right time, his wanderings lead him to Suze, who has embarked on a quest. She is looking for the child she was forced to abandon for adoption at the age of 15 and John the Baptist’s ability to find the key to any public archive portal is going to be of great help.
Dupontel fashioned the adventures that follow into a wacky comedy for the digital age, except that Hollywood Screwball existed in a black and white world filled with light, as if it had been conceived by an optimist. On the other hand, Dupontel, like Gilliam, favors the sharp gloom that permeates film noir.