MOKA - Franco-Swiss thriller drama movie


Salut la compagnie !

Last sunday " je suis allée au ciné!" - I went to the movies at Cinema Paradiso in Hollywood, Fl to see Moka.

Moka is a 2016 Franco-Swiss thriller drama that was written and directed by Frédéric Mermoud and is based on the novel of the same name by Tatiana de Rosnay. The film was shown in the Piazza Grande section of the 2016 Locarno International Film Festival. It stars two impressive actresses : Emmanuelle Devos and Nathalie Baye.

What a great movie ! First, I didn't know what to expect, I was just thinking: "ok, lets see a French movie, it's been a while".  But then I was completely embarked on Diane's journey (Emmanuelle Devos) as a mourning mom driven by her desire for truth and revenge. The first scene immerses you immediately in her distress as she is beating her head against the window while staring at a huge lake. We follow her for the whole movie on her quest to find her son's killer. She litterally appears in every scene, giving us a feeling of revenge and empathy. 

Marlène (Nathalie Baye), whom Diane believes to be the killer who has ruined her life, is a mysterious and endearing woman. She is the opposite of Diane, like light vs darkness. The movie plays well the complementarity between these two character.

I loved the fact that the director leave us with a lot of unanswered questions like: why does Diane stay in an institute and has she escaped any consequences? How come nobody from the institute calls the husband ? Did Diane and her "husband" split up because of their son's dead or was the couple already separated? Does Diane have a job? How does she get all this money to stay in Evian and to buy her car cash ? How come the police are still clueless? 

But it is definitely the showcase by two of the finest french actresses that really blows me away. Between Emmanuelle Devo's despair and Nathalie Baye's apparent sincerity and kindness, we are left wondering until the final twist on how the movie will end.

One of my favorite moment was when the two women arrive at a mountaintop and share a moment of truth. This is the moment when we discover Marlene's weakness and vulnerability : a very womanly scene that brings them closer without appearing to.

I definitely recommend this movie for french learners with a solid A2 with english subtitles (first try to watch without them) and for B1/B2 without.

Bon film et  à la prochaine ....