The good, the bad and the fugly

ImageCalvaire (The Ordeal)

Year: 2004

Director: Fabrice Du Welz

Language: Belgium

Calvaire is just about watchable thanks to the exquisite cinematography and sylvan set designs. Shot in the Belgian province of Lièg, the film begins at a lethargic pace with its protagonist, a lounge singer, lost in an obscure village after a car breakdown. The village is obviously filled with psychopathic people and hence the young man is faced with all sorts of hideous propositions.

Laurent Lucas, as the lounge singer, belongs to the same alma mater of acting that Catherine Zeta Jones does; they sit outside theaters holding “acting is for ugly people” placards.

However Jackie Berroyer, who plays the local caretaker, is spectacularly tense as he takes to the lounge singer like Tarzan’s ape would have with Jane if Tarzan had died young.

And then there’s that song-and-dance sequence at the local pub to which words can do no justice.

You’ll know it if you see it.

I’ll love you if you like it.


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