On the wrong boat | Film-Rezensions.de

Content / criticism

“On the wrong steamer” // Start of Germany: October 25, 2019 (Arte)

Bei Jean (Philippe Rebbot) is going wrong at the moment, what can only go wrong. His life hasn’t been that great since his wife left him. And now it’s going to be sticky: First, the alcohol-loving prospect captain is demoted at work, which means a severe blow to both his ego and his wallet. And then he still has to get out of his apartment after he is in arrears with the rent and has illegally sublet. So he has no choice but to move into the apartment of his goddaughter, who has just been away. Unfortunately, he is not alone there, because the unsuccessful musician Victor (Pablo Pauly) has found shelter there …

Life in social decline

Not only since the corona pandemic, many people have been on a downswing economically. The previous crises and an ever-widening gap between rich and poor have already ensured that countless numbers are passed down all over the world. This sad development is of course a grateful topic for filmmakers. Whether now Ken Loachs oppressive Sorry We Missed You or the German equivalent Delivered, they all tell of how a family is shaken, money is running out and somehow has to fight to get from one day to the next at all. Even the most mundane things can then become a luxury.

With On the wrong boat goes director and co-writer Edouard Deluc (Gauguin) in a thematically similar direction. As with the other two films, he tells of a family man for whom there seems to be no real place in the world and who is having a hard time being able to look after his children. Unlike the colleagues, however, this is less associated with a social comment. Even if not everyone is the maker of his or her happiness in life, as is often said: Jean is largely responsible for this misery himself. Subletting your own apartment and hanging on the bottle is not so easy to blame for capitalist exploiters or a selfish elbow society.

On the way with two bizarre losers

Such a fate is tragic, of course, even if it is your own fault. At least it can be. However, Deluc doesn’t want to go into sadness that much. For long stretches it is On the wrong boat rather funny than dramatic. It is not the situation as such that the film makes fun of. Rather, the characters themselves are the source of entertainment. Both Jean and Victor are designed as bizarre losers who are never really compatible with reality and therefore often do the wrong thing. Sometimes it’s the outside world that creates the comedy, for example with a totally stupid job that Victor pulls ashore at some point and where you ask yourself: Who, if you please, came up with this idea?

Deluc can also rely on his ensemble. With Philippe Rebbot (The almost perfect world of Pauline, A village is bare) and Pablo Pauly (White as snow – who is the most beautiful in the whole country?, Dear life) he has found a great cast for the two failed men who stumble through life with a lot of incomprehension. You don’t even have to make big faces or lose yourself in slapstick traps. It is enough to place them as a foreign body while life goes on around them. In the end, that may not have that much depth. The love story about Jeans colleague Judith (Laure calamy) also looks a bit constructed in order to somehow still be able to invent something that feels good. The sum is On the wrong boat but personable and entertaining enough to overlook it. Not a film that wants to change the world. He doesn’t even depict them realistically. But it’s enough for a nice evening.


OT: “Bad weather!”
Land: France
Year: 2019
Director: Edouard Deluc
Script: Edouard Deluc, Chloé Larouchi, Laura Piani
Camera: Renaud Chassaing
Occupation: Philippe Rebbot, Pablo Pauly, Laure Calamy, Elodie Bouchez, Jean-Luc Bideau, Solène Rigot

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