fbpx Skip to content

Music and hope: A review of the movie «The Showgirls»

1 August 2019

There are many ways to touch people's hearts, the music It is a good way to do it. She can make a hard heart soften and the most rebellious spirit show how beautiful she really is. This is one of the lessons left by the French film Los Coristas (Les Choristes, Christophe Barratier, 2004).

The magic of music

Clément Mathieu, played by Gérard Jugnot (L´Auberge Rouge. Gérard Krawczyk, 2007) is a frustrated musician who, as a last chance in his life, ends up working as a prefect in a boarding school for problem children. Realizing that the educational guidelines of the place are full of arbitrariness towards young people, he decides to organize a choir with which he intends to show the authorities that discipline can be applied in other ways. Mathieu must face the hostilities and obstacles imposed by Mr. Rachin, the director of the school, personified by François Berléand (La fille coupée en deux. Claude Chabrol, 2007). The choir achieves great advances for the school environment thanks to the connection that children have with the beautiful music that Mathieu composes.

A good man can make a difference in a hostile environment

The story takes place in postwar France (World War II), where it is understood that the economic situation of the population is not very good. At the Pond Fund boarding school (Fond de l´Étang) there are children with behavioral problems and one step away from being criminals. The situation is bleak as some of the young people are orphans and are doomed to a life full of abuse and zero opportunities. Within this panorama, the figure of Clément Mathieu is presented as a transgressive element of the apparent order that one has in the school, since from the beginning it is shown against the brutal punishments imposed by the principal. The way the new prefect finds to improve that situation is patiently.

Thanks to the confidence that students begin to have the prefect is how he manages to immerse himself in the lives of young people and in this way he detects the born talent for the music of some of them. In the story three characters stand out who accompany the beloved Clément Mathieu in boarding school experiences.

Among the students is Pierre Morhange, played by Jean-Baptiste Maunier, a young man with a privileged voice which immediately encourages the prefect to compose again. Morhange is reluctant to participate in the choir, but it is thanks to the insistence of his mother Violet and his perseverance, that he manages to be the main voice.

Pepinot is an orphan boy who hopes that his parents will come back for him, so every Saturday he can be seen waiting for his family at the boarding school door. This child is the one who arouses a fatherly feeling in Mathieu so he ends up protecting him from some abusive children. As a curious fact, he does not sing in the choir.

Mondain, played by Grégory Gatignol, is a boy who is admitted to the Pond Fund as an experiment to reintroduce him to society, since at his young age he was already blamed for several crimes and is considered a weak mental and misfit.

The life of Morhange and Pepinot is touched by the good will that Clément Mathieu overflows and thus manages to give them an opportunity to get out of the hole that means being in that boarding school.

Without a doubt, the best of the film is the beautiful Oscar-nominated soundtrack on 2005. Vois sur ton chemin with the music of Bruno Coulais and the lyrics of Christophe Barratier is a exquisite piece that crowns a fluid story full of dramatic and fun situations. The outcome is a bit unexpected and has to do with the beginning of the film, since it is told in the form of analepsy by Pierre Morhange and Pepinot when they are already mature men.

It is worth looking for in Netflix to have a good time with the family watching this tender history of teaching and good music.

You like me? Share it
English Version