Tuesday, May 17

“Placed”: this is what we thought of the first film by Nessim Chikhaoui, screenwriter of “Tuche”

Social films are on the rise. And this time it’s Nessim Chikhaoui’s turn to expose his vision, by unveiling his first film inspired by his own experience. “Placed” comes out this Wednesday in dark rooms. We tell you what we thought.

Before becoming a screenwriter and co-writing the last three “Tuche”, Nessim Chikhaoui worked for ten years as an educator specializing in children’s homes. And he loved those years of experience so much that he decided to make a film of it.

We thus discover how Elias, interpreted by Shaïne Boumedine, finds himself an educator in a Social children’s home (MECS), after having quite simply forgotten his identity document, during his political science exam. An unfortunate oversight that reminds us how much coincidence can give meaning to life.

If this educational framework is not often used in the cinema, it is undoubtedly that it is a delicate exercise. Nessim Chikhaoui masters the subject, but sometimes seems to hesitate between documentary, and real fiction.

A little exploited setting

Indeed, “Placé” poses an interesting framework, and could even have gone further in its treatment. It must be said that with the multiplicity of characters, there is not enough time to pay real attention to each one. Unemployment, alcoholism, education, administrative barriers, discrimination in access to housing, none of the contemporary tragedies are avoided.

He also recalls that, very often, the people involved in this environment, other than supervised children aged 14 to 17, also have to manage a very complex personal life.

As for the students, it is above all the principle of the “dry exit” of a young person when he reaches the age of majority, which is pointed out in this realization. One way of warning about a brutal reality that affects many young adults in France, who very often find themselves on the street. As recalled the Ministry of Solidarity and Health, “One in four homeless people aged 18 to 25 comes from child protection”.

An in-between casting

On the distribution side, Moussa Mansaly, who has gained notoriety with Franck Gastambide’s series, “Validé”, is once again resuming his educator costume. The actor and rapper once again plays a role of mediator who comes from the neighborhood, like the one he already occupied in “La Vie Scolaire” in 2019, and now deserves to wear another cap. The band of friends who surround him, with the main goal of entertaining the gallery, is especially valid for the service full of naturalness of Djimo, alias Ahmed.

Shaïne Boumedine’s performance in the role of Elias lets emotions shine through, and would undoubtedly have deserved even more empathy, even if the actor’s charisma is visible on the screen.

However, one should not shy away from his pleasure in front of the film, the cast of which has some nuggets on the side of young actors, especially since it is for some of them a first experience in front of the camera. And the latter did not seem to be an obstacle for this young band, composed of Max Fidèle, Ines Benamara, Victor Le Fèvre, Elyes Aguis, Syrine Verroust, Lucie Charles-Alfred or even Moussa Yattasaye, with the distribution always fair, even in the ‘improvisation.

It is also during the group sequences that the magic really operates in “Placé”, thanks to a good dynamic and a common energy that they manage to transmit. The icing on the cake, the presence of Smaïn – which has become rare on the screen – in the role of a proud father and somewhat handicapped by the wear and tear of his health.


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