Thursday, June 11, 2009

Raboliot (2008)

Raboliot (Thierry Frémont) is a poacher lives with his wife and 2 sons in the French countryside. The story is set after WW1. His problems begin when a new gendarme named Sommedieu (Thierry Gibault), decides to make the law to be honoured and poachers must be punished. At first Raboliot doesn't care, as many poor villagers also live from poaching, and the count whose land he trespasses is in good term with him and won't suit him. However, Sommedieu spreads lies about Raboliot, starts with telling the count that Raboliot is a coward and deserter from army. Unable to pay the fine after the count sued him, Raboliot gives himself up to the police, but Sommedieu deliberately lets him escape so Raboliot will get more jailtime. And Sommedieu doesn't stop there.

Sommedieu is a policeman who is obsessed to catch his prey and he sets for Raboliot. It seems too much. What have Raboliot done to him? However, the French are already familiar with the story of the similar theme: Victor Hugo's Les Misérables (Jean Valjean vs Javert) is the most popular. There is also a movie called Deux hommes dans la ville by José Giovanni (Gino Strabliggi vs Goitreau) which has an obsessed policeman.

The ending is tragic. Raboliot does succeed in restoring his good name. The villagers believe him and Sommedieu's lies are disclosed. However Jean-Daniel Verhaeghe, the director, has determined to give us a sad ending. Sommedieu shoots Raboliot to death before anyone can prevent him.

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