Wheeling off Course

This is my review of Mammuth [DVD] [2010].

Forced to retire from his job at a meatpacking firm, Serge (Gerard Depardieu), a bloated, mammouth-like former hippy biker, long hair still straggling down his back in greying locks, is at a loss how to spend his time, and is reduced to petty wrangling with the supermarket assistant on the cooked meat counter.

After a life of dead end jobs, his pension record is patchy, and his wife Catherine (Yolande Moreau) sends him off on the bike he hasn't ridden for years to obtain evidence of past employment to fill the gaps. There follows a sequence of amusing or poignant scenes, involving meetings with unsympathetic bosses or puzzling round buildings long ago changed to an unfamiliar use, culminating in Serge's meeting with the artistic, and probably also autistic daughter of a former friend. At this point, I thought Serge begins to recover a sense of his lost youth, or perhaps a period of liberation he has never had. Like a motorcycle out of control, the story does not end here but careers on in ever more fanciful images. We see a naked Depardieu squatting at the side of a pool – leaving me only with the sense that it must be the mark of a great actor to be capable of such unashamed lack of inhibition. Returning from his travels in a flowing caftan, arms spread wide in a universal blessing, he seems to have had some kind of revelation, but what does it all mean? Perhaps you may feel intrigued to watch this and tell me.

⭐⭐ 2 Stars

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