The partnership of two architects develops small cracks that reveal structural flaws in "Cravate Club."

The partnership of two architects develops small cracks that reveal structural flaws in “Cravate Club.” Nicely played bigscreen adaptation of recent Moliere-winning play thoughtfully and fluidly expands into highly visual territory. However, the increasingly dark dissection of a dissolving friendship remains theatrical in its two-handed dialogue and stagy conclusion. Still, fests will find this neckwear a nice fit.

Pic opens as husband and father Bernard (Charles Berling), whose firm has just landed a big contract, learns his biz partner and closest pal, Adrien (Edouard Baer), will not be attending his 40th birthday party that night. Adrien is 37 and a footloose bachelor, and the date clashes with his monthly club dinner: Miss a single get-together of that and you’re banished from membership. Bernard is doubly wounded to learn Adrien belongs to a secret club and that he’s never proposed Bernard as a candidate. From this nagging oversight evolves a ballet of jealousy, rivalry and obsession which both men perpetuate as the delicate balance of their longstanding friendship veers into a slash-and-burn duel, with cruel results. Nicolas Errera’s mostly syncopated score is excellent, as are thesps, reprising their stage roles.

Cravate Club

France

Production

A Rezo Films release of an Aliceleo presentation of an Aliceleo/France 2 Cinema production, with participation of Gimages 5, Cofimage 13 and Canal Plus. (International sales: President Films, Paris.) Produced by Patrick Godeau. Executive producer, Francoise Galfre. Directed by Frederic Jardin. Screenplay, Jardin, Jerome Dassier, from the stage play by Fabrice Roger-Lacan.

Crew

Camera (color), Laurent Machuel; editor, Marco Cave; music, Nicolas Errera; art director, Francoise Emmanuelli; costume designer, Anne Schotte. Reviewed at UGC Danton, Paris, July 14, 2002. Running time: 85 MIN.

With

Charles Berling, Edouard Baer, Albane Urbin.

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