Touching insight into life
THIS French production is something very different and – most of the time – something very special.
Believe it or not, one very prominent element of Declaration of War is the love story of a couple improbably named Romeo ( Jeremie Elkaim) and Juliette ( Valerie Donzelli).
But their union is not a doomed one, even when their only son Adam contracts leukaemia.
A remarkably uplifting experience fashioned from decidedly downbeat subject matter,
Declaration of War charts the ever- shifting fortunes of Romeo and Juliette’s relationship with great insight and effortless familiarity.
There is one very good reason why everything about the picture falls into place so quickly and so convincingly.
The two leading actors also wrote the screenplay. They know this tale inside out. Their own child, Gabriel, was also gravely ill for a number of years.
It is no spoiler of any kind – and a great delight – to report the lad made a full recovery. In fact, Gabriel plays the role of Adam here. While guaranteed to play upon a viewer’s emotions, Declaration of War rarely plays it safe or soft.
Of course, the harsh realities of an entire family unit being trapped in medical limbo – the endless rounds of doctors and specialists, clinics and waiting rooms – are presented with appropriate gravity and sensitivity throughout.
However, the film is ever at the ready to remind us that life goes on whether we are coping with a strained situation admirably or falling to bits unpredictably.
UPLIFTING: Jeremie Elkaim and Valerie Donzelli draw on life experience in Declaration of War.