Dheepan ★★★½

Palme d’Or Winners Project, 2015

For the most part this intimate look at people forced to flee their families, homes and culture works wonderfully. The French slum they move into appears to be too extreme but in the context of a film set against Dheepan and Yalini's adoption of this world, it balances out. We are taken into the heart of those who travel hundreds of miles for a new life, leaving behind horrors that have ruined everything they have known, facing up to the hostility of integrating into a new culture.

Instead of raising the stakes through their daily struggle to adapt and adopt new identities, Audiard goes for the spectacular route in the last act, blowing a lot of the previous good work out of the water. The finale lacks any sense of credibility and it's a shame the director chose to take such an obvious conclusion when the previous hour and a quarter was so beautifully constructed.

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