If you got even the smallest taste of the hugely successful French Film Festival, you have almost certainly gained a great appreciation for French Films. Personally the more French films I get lost in, the clearer it becomes that the French are all about heart. This month you can catch a fantastic film called Dr Knock in cinemas nationally.
Dr Knock is written and directed by Lorraine Levy starring Omar Sy, Ana Girardot, Alex Lutz and Pascal Elbe. Based on the 1923 theatre play 'Knock' or 'The Triumph of Medicine' by Jules Romains. Levy's adaptation yields some pleasing results.
Well-known French actor and comedian Omar Sy (Dr Knock) portrays the cunning con man on the run. You may recognise Omar from his work in Jurassic World , The Intouchables, or the red-eyed 'Bishop' in X-Men: Days of Future Past. As Dr Knock Omar is able to truly charm. The film is set in the 1950's, a wise decision, as you will quickly discover the story would have no supporting arguments in our Dr Google reality.
When he arrives in Saint-Maurice he meets the retiring general practitioner, Dr Parpalaid (Nicolas Marié) and his wife. He had thought he was to take over a thriving practice as he may have retired as a crook and studied hard to be a doctor but his life plan to make it rich has never changed. When he realizes that the town is full of healthy, illness-free people he draws on his transferable skills gained in his previous unsavoury profession and puts a cunning plan in motion to create work - some real and very much imaginary after all 'Everyone is ill, they just don't know it' Dr Knock.
His 'passion' for his customers or as the town priest reminds him, 'patients', increases business and injects life and excitement into the once sleepy town.
It is not very long before he has the whole town swooning and singing his praises. All but his nemesis, the well-respected town priest ( Alex Lutz) who has suspected him from the very beginning. As church attendance dwindles due to the town's skyrocketing illnesses, the more convinced he is that Dr Knock is manipulating his flock.
Within Dr Knock's whirlwind romance with the villagers, which started with free consultations every Tuesday, he falls in love with the beautiful Adèle (Ana Girardot). Adele is the town's sweetheart and not part of his plan. His affection for her has him doing (unprofitable) good deeds and opening his heart to not only Adele but also this picturesque little town he now calls home.
When part of his past arrives in Saint-Maurice everything he has worked hard to build is at risk. Suspicions and accusations planted by the priest aim to drive him away. How does he leave them when he has found himself wanting to help them passionately, professionally and assiduously?
I enjoyed this film, it had the right amount of heart, darkness and a generous serve of comedy. The town is full of interesting characters who keep you laughing all the way until the joyous end.
Omar Sly leads this talented cast and brings the story to life. The film has a classic movie feel, broad humour and plenty of subplots to entertain anyone. It is a feel good comedy well worth the watch.
Olivier Delbosc, Marc Missonnier
French with English Subtitles
Out now nationally
Running Time: 113 Minutes Rating: PG
Palace Centro - Fortitude Valley, Queensland Regal Twin - Graceville, Queensland Palace Balwyn - Balwyn, Victoria Palace Como - South Yarra, Victoria Palace Brighton Bay - Brighton, Victoria Palace Kino - Melbourne, Victoria Waverley Cinema - Mount Waverley, Victoria Classic Cinemas - Elsternwick, Victoria Lido Cinemas - Hawthorn, Victoria Cameo Cinemas - Belgrave, Victoria Palace Norton Street - Leichhardt, New South Wales Chauvel, Paddington - Paddinton, New South Wales Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace - Cremorne, New South Wales Palace Nova Eastend - Adelaide, South Australia State Cinema - North Hobart, Tasmania Palace Electric - Canberra, ACT