Le Concert hits the right notes
Directed by Romanian-born Radu Mihaileanu, Le Concert centres around Andrei Filipov (Aleksei Guskov). Filipov conducted the famous Bolshoi orchestra in Russia 30 years ago during the Soviet regime but was fired for hiring Jewish musicians.
Now a janitor in the same company, Andrei's dream is to have a chance to perform on stage again.
Fate helps him out, and he comes across an invitation meant for the Bolshoi orchestra to perform in Paris. He gathers all his former musicians and young virtuoso Anne-Marie Jacquet (M?lanie Laurent) to go to Paris and fulfil his dream.
Like many French movies, the film is filled with intense human emotions and desires, and some occasional fun and crazy moments. The political background to the film gives it a somewhat chilling effect. Seeing famous musicians losing their jobs due to political reasons and turning into alcoholics and street vendors is cruel yet believable.
Guskov and Laurent are both captivating performers. But the story is not particularly original and some parts are too predictable. It is also a bit long and some scenes could have been done away with. Nevertheless, the audience will forgive all when it comes to the last scene - listening to the whole of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D major, Op 35 will make you cry.