Friday, September 18, 2020

Les Sauvages Review: A French Political Thriller With Shades of World Issues

Marina Foïs	...	 Marion6 episodes, 2019  Roschdy Zem	Roschdy Zem	...	 Idder Chaouch6 episodes, 2019  Amira Casar	Amira Casar	...	 Daria6 episodes, 2019  Souheila Yacoub	Souheila Yacoub	...	 Jasmine6 episodes, 2019  Dali Benssalah	Dali Benssalah	...	 Fouad6 episodes, 2019  Sofiane Zermani	Sofiane Zermani	...	 Nazir6 episodes, 2019  Farida Rahouadj	Farida Rahouadj	...	 Dounia6 episodes, 2019  Karimouche	Karimouche	...	 Rabia6 episodes, 2019  Lyna Khoudri	Lyna Khoudri	...	 Louna6 episodes, 2019  Shaïn Boumedine	Shaïn Boumedine	...	 Slim6 episodes, 2019  Ilies Kadri	Ilies Kadri	...	 Krim6 episodes, 2019  Romain Levi	Romain Levi	...	 Romain Ramos

Release date: September 17, 2020 (Streaming)
Running time: 60 minute episodes, 6 total
Starring: Marina Foïs, Roschdy Zem, Amira Casar, Dali Benssalah, Sofiane Zermani, Souheila Yacoub

Set in present-day France, Les Sauvages follows the first presidential candidate of Algerian descent who is in a heated election.  The series follows the election and the events that occur after the election that touch on politics, identity, and France as a nation.  

Thriller, politics, french, france, political, drama, mini-series, series
A drama like this will live and die by its characters, and Les Sauvages has a lot of interesting and conflicting ones.  It follows the Algerian political candidate Idder Chaouch (Zem), a charismatic politician who appears to have some influence from Obama.  Idder is running on a campaign of hope and change, and there are definite attacks on him about his nationality and whether he is French enough.  On top of Idder, we are introduced to his daughter and political campaign manager Jasmine (Yacoub) and her longtime boyfriend and successful actor Fouad (Benssalah).  Early in the series we meet Fouad's family, who includes a brother (Zermani) who is politically opposed to Chaouch's ideals and candidacy.  This is just scratching the surface and, as with any good drama, there are plenty of other characters to meet along the way that add to the overall intrigue and drama.  And despite the dramatic nature of the series, it doesn't feel like characters are overacting for it.  There is a general likable nature to the individuals, which makes you want to root for them that much more.  

And drama is one thing that this series has in spades.  Full disclosure, I have only watched two of the episodes, but those episodes do a really great job of establishing the world, the major conflicts, and all the characters.  If you are looking for a lot of action, this is not it.  But if you are looking for interactions between characters and plenty of threads to follow, then this show might be for you.  And part of what makes the threads so fun to follow is the writing.  Although I am watching it subtitled, the dialogue is interesting and dramatic, and the story line is easy to follow despite the plethora of characters and events.  And the camera work and production values are quite good, with some nice shots of France and good lighting for a show that has a lot take place at night.  There are some poor decisions that happen, but that is also how you get the drama to take place.  And some of the themes, despite being French issues, are ones that are relatable to the world at large.  The series deals with isolationist policies, nationalism, and identity politics, all of which are relevant on a global scale.  And as I said, I definitely saw shades of American political issues in this French series.  And overall, despite being two episodes in, I am excited to see where it goes next.

Les Sauvages has an interesting cast of characters, complicated story, and plenty of drama in this French political thriller with parallels to events happening in America and on a global stage. 

Watch it.

Thriller, politics, french, france, political, drama, mini-series, series

If you liked this review and want to see more from Watch or Pass, please consider 
following us on our various social media platforms: FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutube.   LES SAUVAGES premiered on Topic Thursday, September 17.

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