Three sassy graces become Rebels (fr. REBELLIES) 2019 in the new French comedy by auteur Allan Mauduit. We’ll reveal in our review what the women’s plan looks like and whether it’s suitable as a basis for a comedy film.
Marilyn (Audrey Lamy), Sandra (Cecile de France) and Nadine (Yolande Moreau) on the assembly line
The plot summary
The provincial beauty queen Sandra (Cécile de France) lived on the Côte d’Azur for 15 years, now she is returning to northern France and moving back in with her mother. The ex-Miss finds work in the local fish cannery and two new friends among her colleagues – the lonely but sharp-tongued housewife Nadine (Yolande Moreau) and Marilyn, a hysterical single mother (Audrey Lamy). She doesn’t get along as well with her boss, who keeps getting intrusive until one day, when she has to defend herself again, she accidentally kills him. While the three friends are still thinking about what to do next, they come across a bag full of money in the dead man’s locker. They spontaneously decide to divide the unexpected wealth between themselves. A surefire plan? You could say so. Because suddenly not only the police are on their trail, but also a local gangster and half of the Belgian underworld…
Rebels Movie Meaning & ending
“Too many cooks spoil the broth!” – this well-known saying means that you should never have too many people working on the same thing and that can definitely be applied to filmmaking. All too often, for example, it is noticeable in a script that it was written not by one but by several authors. In the case of the French comedy “Rebel Girls” this is only true to a limited extent, but on a completely different level. Because here it is above all the countless influences that make the end result taste bland. “Rebels” is a hodgepodge of gangster film tropes; “Tarantino Light” so to speak. But Edgar Wright, Guy Ritchie and pretty much everyone else who has tried their hand at energetic coup cinema in recent years can also be found in “Rebel Girls”. In keeping with the spirit of the times, director and co-author Allan Mauduit (“Kaboul Kitchen”) tells the story of a girl group that wants to cover up the self-defense murder of their sleazy boss and ends up in a deadly plot. It’s definitely entertaining, but due to the numerous allusions and cross-references to films we’ve all seen before, “Rebel” has no unique selling point and is pretty much dispensable in the genre.
Sandra (Cécile de France) is planning the big coup with her new friends.
At least in one respect Allan Mauduit varies the usual motifs of gangster cinema by situating the action of “rebels” in a working-class environment. The characters in focus here don’t live in luxurious houses, don’t drive fancy sports cars and the gangsters don’t adorn themselves with buxom bikini beauties. There is still suffering on all sides here; either in a fish factory or in the French underworld, which is not fascinating and glamorous, but ice cold and uncompromising. There’s something refreshing about the fact that the cinema doesn’t serve the middle and upper classes, but rather the part of society for which films are usually not made. And when they do, they are usually problem dramas that are about how to get out of the proletariat as quickly as possible. The script by Mauduit and Jérémiz Guez (“The Night Eats the World”) never becomes romantic. The protagonists in Rebels make no secret of the fact that they would like to break out of their precarious living conditions at some point, but that they have not yet had the money to put this plan into practice. When the opportunity to finally do exactly that presents itself to them, the three of them don’t hesitate and grow beyond themselves. It’s just a shame that after the amusing murder and dismemberment events (a corpse has never been removed from the world more creatively!), the plot consistently maneuvers towards average and ultimately below it.
There is actually something very liberating about the action. The film takes the side of its titular rebels throughout, who first have to defend themselves against the system, then against their overbearing boss and finally against their opponents, although in the latter case it never matters that it is Sandra , Nadine and Marilyn are women. Once the bad guys have tracked them down, they will judge them just as harshly as any other adversary. However, the fact that Sandra is also accused of having a private connection with the gangsters is a bit too much and makes the whole thing look more contrived than it otherwise actually is. In addition, Rebels noticeably frays after the successful start. Interpersonal problems, shootings, chases and the attempt to emphasize the close friendship of the three women in between all of this – Allan Mauduit doesn’t get over so many approaches and ultimately does what we already indicated at the beginning: he chooses things from all of this , which we already know enough from other films and ultimately stages a best-of gangster film that loses its surprise effect as the running time progresses. If you know one, you know them all.
One of the great strengths of Rebels also suffers from this: the cast. With Cecile de France (“High Tension”)Yolande Moreau (“The Fabulous World of Amélie”) and Audrey Lamy (“Beauty and the Beast”) Three ladies play the main roles here, who don’t let themselves be taken away from their bread with their coddling snout and their courage to be natural. With the exception of Sandra, who at least has a private, albeit very clichéd, background, that is the only thing by which the women can be defined. Even though you sometimes see the husband of one and the son of the other, you never get a feeling for what makes the women tick outside of their unwilling gangster careers. They are therefore only interesting to a limited extent and, especially in the last third, the consistently clever dialogues give way to hysterical screaming. That doesn’t do “Rebels” justice, because even if new genre facets can only be identified to a limited extent here, it’s still good to experience a female Tarantino clone for once. It’s a shame that in the last few meters it confirms all the clichés that the makers were able to maneuver around so skillfully beforehand.
Conclusion: More finger exercise than a sophisticated cinematic adventure: “Rebel Girls” feels like a hodgepodge of all possible Tarantino and gangster film motifs, presented by three only moderately interesting main characters. If everyone here ends up barking at everyone else, it’ll be pretty annoying.
Rebels can be seen in selected USA cinemas from July 11th.