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Enfance d'Icare, L'

Enfance d'Icare, L' (2009) Movie Poster
Switzerland / Romania / France  •    •  96m  •    •  Directed by: Alex Iordachescu.  •  Starring: Guillaume Depardieu, Alysson Paradis, Carlo Brandt, Sophie Lukasik, Dorotheea Petre, Patricia Bopp, Jean-Pierre Gos, Madalina Constantin, Rodica Lazar, Florin Tibu, Alexa Mogosdan, Daniel Bandila, Ana Sterie.  •  Music by: The Young Gods.
     Jonathan Vogel would like to turn back the clock and undo the accident that led to his disability and destroyed his life. When he learns that Stivlas Karr, a well-known professor and geneticist, has developed a gene therapy for regenerating the human body, he makes an appointment with him for some clinical tests. But the therapy doesn't go according to Professor Karr's plan and leads to unexpected results. Jonathan, whose life is now in danger, has become aware that there is only one person who can help him: Alice, the professor's daughter.


Here's a curious sci-fi drama that works on a strange real level because the man in front of the screen is out in the open with his personal tragic life. The lead star of "The Childhood of Icarus" is Guillaume Depardieu (GĂ©rard's son) and in the film he plays Jonathan a disabled young man who regains the hope to live when a brilliant medical doctor (Carlo Brandt) reveals about a unique medicine experiment that can help him return part of his old life back, and possibly recover the woman he loves.

It's not necessarily that the role was written for Guillaume since any other actor could've play it; what makes the argument conquer the viewers is how the man becomes the only option for the role thanks to all the emotion involved and it relates exactly with what Guillaume lived and was from a long period of his life. Depardieu was a promising young actor who suffered a motorcycle accident just when his career was taking off, one of his legs was damaged and then lost a few years later - like Jonathan, and I think it's the first time you get to see the actor with his prothesis. He kept acting until around the making of his film, passing away some time later after its conclusion and in between the accident and this movie he struggled with a drug addiction that rendered him a bad press for a period (he succumbed to pneumonia brought by a frail health).

The pyshicality of the role is one factor that gets nicely overcomed by the actor's spiritual presence, a sense where audiences can know his pain goes beyond the lost limb and even the fictional married life of which he painfully wants to reclaim. With this merge of fact and fiction, Depardieu shared a kind of feeling that speaks deeper into our soul and by such exposure he makes it feel too real, something that couldn't get acted with special effects. Above that, his face is sadly beautiful; he wasn't the amazingly great-looking man back in his pre-fame moments YET there's something undeniable interesting, beautiful with his ageing, scruff, tiny scars and weary looks that speaks volumes in the movie. It has to be seen.

The science possibilities of a new discovery is always enchating; and when that can help those in need andor achieve better alternatives for life are always exciting and intriguing to see. But with those it comes the obstacles, the difficulties and also the lies from medicinescience in order to present their results. Jonathan is the perfect guinea pig for such voluntary experiment where he'll live in this chateau with other rich patients who can afford such study and trials. That's the downer part of the film where a sort of descent to hell is awaiting for Jonathan (not in horrific ways though) but from everything he wanted. To his assistance, the doctor's daugther will be his only help to survive. That's the turn of the movie where things get confusing, under-developed and probably when viewers will might losing the interest for the experience. Same goes for Jonathan and his idealization on his ex-wife, we'll it's an anchor to that clings him to life... the story doesn't go much clear with something that appeals to us, it's all played too cold and distant. A weakness though not much damaging.

In a final anaylsis, "The Childhood of Icarus" is an interesting film expanding in several horizons, directions and what if's, a great device used in the art of films. With Guillaume it gets a lot deeper because of the actor's experience put together with the writers intention that results in this curious symbiosis. You can watch it without the actor's context and situation, the film works outside such spectre but's it a more profound human journey to discover things. Know just a little about the man and you'll understand the challenge.

Review by Rodrigo_Amaro from the Internet Movie Database.