The Enemy

The Enemy
Original title:L'ennemi
Director:Stephan Streker
Running time:104 minutes
Release date:26 january 2022 (France)
A famous politician is accused of killing his wife who was found dead one night in their hotel room at the North Sea. Is he guilty or innocent? No one knows. And maybe neither does he. 

Mulder's Review

Louis Durieux (Jérémie Renier), an influential politician, is accused of having murdered his wife, who was found dead in their hotel room. The case explodes into an intense media storm. Is he guilty or innocent? No one knows. Maybe not even him. His lawyer Béatrice Rondas (Emmanuelle Bercot) will do everything to defend his rights and untangle the various question marks.

The new film written and directed by Stephan Streker after Michael Blanco (2004), The World Belongs to Us (2012) and Noces (2016) has established itself as one of the highlights of the Reims Polar Festival. After having been presented at the Angoulème festival in 2020, the film The Enemy is once again in the spotlight by being included in the selection of films offered at the crime film festival (Reims Polar). Based on the Wesphael case, Stephan Streker delivers a hard-hitting thriller about the workings of the judicial system, the deceptive appearances of the realization and especially about a respected and honest politician who will find himself accused of a violent murder that will end his career and destroy his political image.

While one might expect a police investigation, The Enemy blurs the lines and seems more interested in the psychology of its main character, played to perfection by Jérémie Renier. By relying on numerous flashbacks, the script tries to explain to us what events occurred before this murder and what was the strong bond between Louis Durieux and his wife, played here by the actress Alma Jodorowsky. The strong bond between these two characters, which could be described as strong and passionate, also seems to give rise to many deep frustrations but also to many sufferings. The director Stephan Streker seems to take a malicious pleasure in muddling the cards and especially punctuates his film with dreamlike scenes highlighting the fact that Louis Durieux is perhaps not the man he claims to be. 

Of course, one could reproach Stephan Streker for the fact that some dialogues lack real strength and seem to play the easy way. However, under this appearance hides a trap all the more fascinating because the director knows perfectly how to play with the nerves of the spectators. In the same way, it would have been interesting to incorporate in this film a political pamphlet in which the game of power and appearance is here extended by a violent murder.

Whether it is the prison scenes in which Louis Durieux seems to want to relearn how to live or the relationship between him and his son, everything here contributes to making the film The Enemy a complete, trying and strong film. The actor Jérémie Renier never ceases to impress us by his total involvement in his roles and especially by the fact that he proves to be as perfect in dramas as in comedies. The presence in the cast of the actress Alma Jodorowsky adds to the film an undeniable sensuality.

The Enemy
A film written and directed by Stephan Streker
Produced by Michaël Goldberg, Boris Van Gils & Jean-Philippe La Roche 
With Jérémie Renier, Alma Jodorowsky, Emmanuelle Bercot, Félix Maritaud, Zacharie Chasseriaud
Music by Marcelo Zarvos
Director of photography : Léo Lefèvre
Editing: Jérôme Guiot & Mathilde Muyard
Production: Daylight Films, Formosa Productions Inc, Polaris Film Production & Finance, Bac Films, Libellule Films
Distribution : Alba Films (France)
Release date: January 26 2022 (France)
Running time: 104 minutes

Seen on June 28, 2021 (Reims Polar)

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