Two amateur criminals discover a monstrous fly in the trunk of a stolen car. Their plan? Train the fly and make a fortune in this joyously absurd buddy-fly bromance.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2021
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French absurdist Quentin Dupieux has formed a formidable body of comedic work since his international breakout, the sentient killer-tyre movie Rubber. Mandibles, the follow-up to his wild, obsessed-jacket movie Deerskin (NZFF 2019) may just be his most accessible and amiable excursion into asininity yet.
Manu and Jean-Gab are two nice-but-dim amateur crims on a dodgy errand when they discover that inside the boot of their stolen car is a gigantic housefly. You read the right. A two-foot insectoid behemoth; Sacre-buzzy-bleu! These geniuses decide the best way to capitalise on this remarkable discovery is to train the fly to perform and make them a fortune. Like a Gallic “Stupide et Stupider”, Mandibles rejoices in such pure idiocy that it becomes something delightful as we watch our two anti-hero doofuses stumble through various encounters before running into Cécile, who mistakenly remembers Manu as a long ago one-nighter. She invites the two bozos to hang out with her brother Serge and friends Sandrine and Agnès at a stunning mansion.
As this absurd buddy-fly bromance movie escalates, Dupieux deceptively injects some tension into the oddball fuzziness by peppering the film with promises of unhinged psychodrama that never play out quite as expected. — AT
“Though Dupieux’s films have never shied away from violence and destruction, Mandibles preserves the filmmaker’s penchant for perplexity while asserting that life is a glorious thing – even in its distasteful weirdness.” — Natalia Keogan, Paste