Original title:Elyas
Director:Florent Emilio Siri
Running time:99 minutes
Release date:Not communicated
Elyas, a former Special Forces soldier, solitary and paranoid, becomes a bodyguard for Nour, 13, and her mother Amina, who come from the Middle East. While the ex-warrior and the young girl get to know each other, a mysterious commando targets them. Elyas will stop at nothing to save her.

Sabine's Review

Initially, Mathieu Rubin, producer of Möbius by Eric Rochant and November by Cédric Jimenez, talked to the director Florent-Emilio Siri to make an action film, with Roschdy Zem as the main actor. The ambition is to create a French-style John Wick. The talents are there and this film could have been a great popular action film, if the script and the dialogues had been better worked, a typically French problem.

Roschy Zem plays Elyas, a former special forces soldier who has become paranoid since serving in Afghanistan. A former colleague hires him to ensure the safety of a Middle Eastern family, who have taken refuge in a French castle. To save the mother, Amina, and her daughter Nour, Elyas will return to being the soldier he was. Roschy Zem is a talented actor, capable of carrying an action film. Credible in the stunt scenes, minimalist in his acting, he is moving as a broken soldier, speaking alone, locked in his suffering and his mental illness. He saves the film. 

Regarding the casting, we must accept that Jeanne Michel, with her charming little trumpet nose and her freckles, could play Nour, the daughter of this Arab couple. At a time of diversity and inclusion, this choice raises questions.

With Elyas, we find the Florent-Emilio Siri of Wasp's Nest and The Inner Enemy. This director masters space, rhythm and action. The action scenes are therefore successful. The film is strongly inspired by Man on Fire by Tony Scott, and fiction like Taken and video games. The film is divided into three acts, with a good beginning which questions the character's paranoia. The last part is pure action. It turns out to be the most successful because then there are no longer any possible scenario problems. Between the two, the film loses itself in different directions and strings together big tricks and implausibilities. Too bad because we have the talent to make a John Wick.

The director surrounded himself with his team, also up to the task: Giovanni Fiore Coltellacci, director of photography on Cloclo, Mimi Lempicka, costume designer, Maamar Ech-Cheikh production designer. Jérôme Gaspard and Stéphane Boulay supervise the stunts. Alexandre Desplat composes the music.

Elyas is designed as the first part of a saga with the “reactivation” of the soldier. The film hits theaters on July 3. Take advantage of the last day of the Fête du Cinéma to go see it. On the big screen, the action scenes are worth watching.

Directed by Florent Emilio Siri
Produced by Mathias Rubin
Written by Florent-Emilio Siri, Nicolas Laquerrière
With Roschdy Zem, Laëtitia Eïdo, Jeanne Michel, Dimitri Storoge, Sherwan Haji, Nabil Elouahabi, Murat Subasi, Murat Subasi, Frédéric Maranber
Music : Alexandre Desplat
Cinematography : Giovanni Fiore Coltellacci
Edited by : Olivier Gajan
Production Companies : Recifilms, Orange Studio, France 2 Cinéma
Distributed by StudioCanal (France)
Release Date : July 3 2024 (France)
Running Time : 99 minutes

Viewed May 6, 2024 at Club Lincoln

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