The violence in Bernie is indifferent, humorous and ordinary in a disturbing way. The film is in the great tradition of narcissistic comedy: The filmic heritage of directors/actors such as Buster Keaton, Jacques Tati, Jerry Lewis and Woody Allen. In this series Albert Dupontel/Bernie is more like Keaton and Lewis that like Tati and Allen. He is a physical comedian: he doesn't talk, but he lashes out, without hesitation and with deadly result. As a baby, Bernie was thrown into the garbage chute of an apartment building by his parents. After he was taken away from the garbage, he grew up in a old-fashioned and closed orphanage. At the age of thirty, he decides to go out into the world and find out who he is. The paranoid and naïve Bernie has invented a life story for himself along the lines of a comic strip and with the suspense of an American action film. For thirty years, he has saved up all his pocket money, he is as savagely strong and sly and shy as an animal of prey that has been caged too long. Like a drunken crusader, he travels round looking for his father and mother. In his imagination they were the victims of a crime and he was kidnapped as a child instead of thrown away carelessly.Bernie is an effective mixture of absurd comedy and hard action film, a mix that can also be seen with Dupontel's fellow countrymen Jan Kounen and Philippe Haim (see also). (GjZ)

Filmmaker
Albert Dupontel
Premiere
-
Country
France
Year
1997
Medium
35mm
Length
87’
Language
French
Producer
Jean Michel Rey
Sales
Studio Canal
Writer
Gilles Laurent, Albert Dupontel
Cast
Claude Perron, Albert Dupontel