Come What May is not a typical, action-filled war movie. Instead, writer/director Christian Carion presents the audience with a refreshing drama that intimately details characters’ lives at the start of the German invasion.
Set in France in 1940, the film paints a picture of one the largest exodus in history. Paul (Olivier Gourmet), the mayor of a village, persuades the people in his village to flee to southern France. His story is woven together with that of Hans (August Diehl), a member of the German resistance who narrowly escapes Germany and ends up at the village with his eight-year-old son, Max (Joshio Marlon). Hans soon gets imprisoned by the French army after they realize his identity, and Max is left with his schoolteacher, Suzanne (Alice Isaaz).
At first, Suzanne is shy and timid, and I was unsure whether she would break out of the typical passive female character role. In the beginning, Suzanne is predictable: She takes over as a mother figure to the abandoned boy and looks up to Paul for reassurance. However, she grows into a self-reliant and assertive character as the journey becomes more dangerous, often taking control and leading the villagers. While Suzanne’s character development is dependent on stereotypical self-sacrificial love, her role was my favorite part of the movie. She breathes a bit of life into the typical male-dominated war movie genre.
The rest of the storyline falls into a predictable narrative. Hans escapes prison and is joined by Percy (Matthew Rhys) and together they embark on a dangerous journey to find Max. Paul’s wife Mado (Mathilde Seig) has one shining moment when she defies her husband and leads the villagers into an armed robbery. However, the film falls short on developing any other female characters besides Suzanne.
What I loved about the movie was that it painted an intimate portrayal of the characters’ lives during the beginning of the invasion by subtly displaying their grief and shock. It was a humanistic depiction of a true story. Yet, it could have been a much better film if it had represented the villagers equally.
Check out the trailer below:
Top Photo: Joshio Marlon as “Max” and Alice Isaaz as “Suzanne”
Photos courtesy of Cohen Media Group
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