Slalom has been hailed as the “Me Too” film made in the racing world. And while it’s understandable (and not consistently wrong). A way to portray Charlene Favier’s debut film does make the image a little unfair. The film is too rich and too human to be categorized. Despite all its beauty, it’s also a watch that’s a bit embarrassing. A subtle, authentic look at the intricate manner of abuse.
Much of the film’s strength comes from newcomer Noah Abita’s portrayal of Liz:
A 15-year-old boarding school woman in the Swiss Alps. Where she joins an elite ski team led by Fred (Jeremy Rainier), a brutal trainer who does it. Don’t think about manipulating children’s bodies. By having them undress so they can weigh or measure how much excess fat they have around their waists. She even asked about her menstrual cycle. Now wide open and terrified, Liz has never calmed down. She is new to this place and doesn’t know how to negotiate her journey. With the other children and their chaotic relationships. He feels dethroned, also because his mother has a job where he is often away. Liz also seems unsure of his talent as a skier, unsure that Fred’s useless trail won’t help, at least at first.
At first, Fred’s behaviour didn’t feel too sexual or even ridiculous.
He didn’t even look at Liz that often; to him, it read like a bundle of parts. At first, the film focused entirely on what would make these kids better skiers. Rainier, a versatile phenomenal actor and veteran of the Dardens brothers. Many films, brings the right amount of derogatory charisma to the role. Fred was so convinced that even we in the audience were initially attracted to him.
Even so, you can guess in advance where this story is going. But director Favier praised that almost nothing on the Slalom felt so predictable or tired. Before heading south, we first look at Liz and Fred’s triumph at ski races. When the girl’s clumsiness fade away, and she becomes a graceful dynamo on the slopes. The chilling ski sequence camera may feel a little out of the ordinary at first. But it’s essential to show Liz’s excitement, the roar of triumph and the success that brought her and Fred together. She started replacing him, and she began to believe that he was an integral part of her success.
Favier, who based the story partly on his own experiences:
As a young athlete, said in the interview that he wanted to get beyond. The dichotomy between monster and victim. His portrayal of Fred is not intrigued, not a serial robber. But of a man, whose confident appearance hides someone. However, that does not mean the film will approve it. What leads to her or how to see her as a natural person. He’s a corrupt narcissist who understands nothing about boundaries, freedom of choice, or even beliefs.
Slalom (one of the titles that will take off at the 2020 Cannes Film Festival if the festival takes place) is an exciting film. The result is often beautiful, even though the stories it tells become even more terrifying. He is also psychologically aware of the consequences of Fred’s actions. Somehow the film appears in the second half: the story becomes more fragmented, more impressionistic as if Liz is different from her experience and the world as a whole, and her former excess is now a kind of existential fragmentation. A more conventional and satisfying narrative may have shifted into frightening clarity. By refusing to offer us a straightforward solution, Slalom offered something even scarier – which such stories rarely do.