Incognito @ Cinemania

I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised with Eric Lavain's (Poltergay) film "Incognito". I expected a few laughs and got more. And I expected your usual mindless comedy, but got a comedy with some depth to it. Deeper than a simple comedy it really takes a long hard (but always funny) look at the cult of celebrity that we have set up.

It is the 1990s and Lucas (Bénabar) is a hard-working (read largely unsuccessful) singer. Due to a twist of fate, Lucas finds himself a pop star known worldwide. The twist of fate, so to speak, was that he was able to gain his songs by stealing them from his friend Thomas (Jocelyn Quivrin – Syriana, Ca$h). He does not really give stealing the songs a second thought as Thomas has up and disappeared.

Unexpectedly and awkwardly, for Lucas anyway, Thomas makes a sudden reappearance onto the scene. Thomas obviously knows nothing about Lucas's success and tells him that he is back for a five day visit. Lucas, in order to protect his success, decides his best course of action is to try and hide the fact that he is an internationally renowned pop star from his friend. To keep up the lie he hires Francis (Franck Dubosc – Astérix aux Jeux Olympiques), an unemployed actor, to portray him. This does not end up being as simple as he had envisioned as Francis is completely out of control. The five days that Thomas is back in town turn into days of pure living hell for Lucas.

We have all seen films in which singers try their hand at acting and fail miserably. Such is not the case with singer Bénabar. He is funny and believable as the man desperate to hold on to his 15 minutes in the sun. For me the star of the film is actor Fanck Dubosc as the ridiculous Francis. He is hilarious in the role of the actor taking his job too seriously and instead of alleviating Lucas's anxiety becomes the source of it. Bottom line, the guy did his job and made everyone in the theatre laugh time and time again.

Full of laughs and stinging criticisms of society's obsession with celebrity, "Incognito" is a film in which its parts add up to a large and enjoyable sum. A fun, tongue-planted-firmly-in-cheek homage to films of the type popular during the 1970s and 1980s, Incognito is a fun time at the cinema. While it certainly isn't the film of the year it definitely is entertaining and will give you a two hour break from the grind of your life.

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