Mea Culpa muscles in on action genre

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‘Mea Culpa’ tells the story of a nine-year-old boy on the run from the mafia after he witnessed a mob-murder. A pair of police officers team up to protect the youngster.

Described as ‘Die Hard’ meets ‘Taken’, this is a rare thing – a French ‘action movie’. Despite being a genre largely dominated by the American movie industry, the film’s director, Fred Cavayé, was keen to muscle in whilst keeping a distinctly Gallic touch.

As he explained: “I didn’t try to copy American cinema – it is effectively a French film, inspired by American cinema but is probably closer to some Korean films. But fundamentally it’s really a human story with characters who run for the right reasons.”

This is the first time the two iconic French actors, Vincent Lindon and Gilles Lellouche, have starred in the same movie but the chemistry was there the first day on set.

For Lellouche, playing opposite Lindon was an honour: “Vincent has got great rhythm, and he sets the rhythm, so when you act with him the dialogues are natural. And when he’s involved in a film, he’s 2,000 percent, every second. He’s very generous in the way he acts so that, in a way, we don’t act, we just are.”

Lindon was equally enthusiastic about his co-star: “I like the way Gilles talks. It’s exactly what I wanted. His first sentence in the film just landed on me, in a way that meant I was able to take off and deliver my sentence the way I wanted. So I got out of the car, went over to the director and tapped him on the shoulder. He took off his headphones, I said ‘Wow, this guy’s good’.”

An action-film with heart, the movie looks to combine the intensity of traditional block-busters with some more emotional touches.

‘Mea Culpa’ is now out in France and Belgium.

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