‘Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo’: Abdellatif Kechiche’s Torturous, Four-Hour Sequel Is the Butt of the Joke [Cannes Review]

The Playlist | 5/24/2019 | Caroline Tsai
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The female **** is the main character of “Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo,” and that’s not an exaggeration. After auctioning off the Palme d’Or statuette he won for “Blue Is the Warmest Color” in order to finance this film, director Abdellatif Kechiche returns with — judging by its title — the second installment in a godforsaken trilogy. The rumors are true: “Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo” clocks in at around four hours, each hour more excruciatingly mind-numbing than the last.

There’s barely any point to recounting a synopsis, with plot taking a backseat to the film’s more obscene elements, but here it is: 18-year-old Marie (Marie Bernard, who’s a close ringer for a young Amanda Seyfried) is sunning on the beach during a family vacation, when Tony and Aimé (Salim Kechiouche and Roméo De Lacour, respectively) approach her, convincing her eventually to hang out with a larger group of ambiguously related, bikini-clad family members. Chief among them are Ophélie (Ophélie Bau, resuming her role from the previous installment) who is now pregnant with Tony’s child and insists that she will terminate the pregnancy in favor of starting a life of marital bliss with Clément, her off-screen military fiancé, despite Tony’s best attempts at persuasion.

Minutes - Talk - Gang - Marie - Night

30 minutes of small talk later, the gang has convinced Marie to join them for a night on the town, where Kechiche languidly trains his camera on jiggling female bodies for long swaths of time, occasionally interspersing short bouts of conversation so banal, they’re almost as painful as the gratuitous **** shots. There’s little else worthy of mention in this middle section, which comprises most of the torturous four hours, besides the appearance of Amin (Shaïn Boumedine), the film’s resident heartthrob, who seems confusingly distracted, despite the handful of girls who spend the majority of the evening eagerly vying for...
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