Romantic rebel and marginal bitten by a werewolf, Teddy undergoes the classic rituals of metamorphosis and becomes the jubilant postulate of one of the best French comedies of recent years.
In the middle of a field, Teddy describes to Rebecca their common future and his desire to flee a village with which he no longer fits. The idealized home and future reflect the emancipatory aspirations of a curious character who no longer understands the codes of an alienated society. Faced with the absurdity of a generation whose spearheads are networks and smartphones, Teddy is in search of a saving way out. Masseur by default, he can no longer communicate with those who revolve around him and tries to avoid the relentless tsunami of standards. A hermit punk, his inability to communicate is reminiscent of the word comedy of recent frescoes by Bruno Dumont, except that the resulting phantasmagoric delirium here follows the rhythmic actantial pattern of a classic fantastic short story.
So, after his bite, Teddy finds a tasty way to avoid the invasive contamination of the group. The progressive metamorphosis that he undergoes gives rise to beautiful ideas of staging, where the adolescent discovers a new form of puberty, very different from the gregarious villagers who merge into a tearful funeral procession or in abject speeches of ‘goodbye. The gap, already underlined by the wide shots in which Teddy endeavored to move away from the group, lets the fiction glimpse as a modern mirror of Rabelais’ epic tales. Panurge’s sheep form a noisy flock on screen where different faces of societal empiricism intermingle. Are caricatured in turn the devoted policeman, the young conservative bon vivant, the desires of a cougar … a carnival parade pretext for the absurd and comical, a daring and refreshing tone, also transgressive when it comes to putting to the hero test.
It is when she notices that she does not belong to the group that Rebecca becomes afraid and decides to join a movement that, until then, repudiated. Her break with Teddy is a satirical peak, where, without filter, she proclaims her love for PNL. Therefore, the transformation introduced in parallel appears to be a liberating gesture. The punishment suffered is imposed by fiction and reveals the directors’ unwavering faith in the powers of the apologue. Besides the pure horror sequences, very successful, Teddy first and foremost generates an implacable observation: it is time to get rid of aging archetypes and to leave room for the unbridled imagination of the creators.
Ludovic & Zoran Boukherma suggest a certain talent from this first film. In addition to the carpentesque visual intertext, sometimes close to a Refn, it is above all by the right balance between multiple tones that the film clashes. The pessimism of the epilogue touches and moves, and while we think the battle lost for the hero, a final plan echoes the underlying morality throughout these 1h30. Rebecca’s gaze, filled with regret, reflects a lack, a nostalgia for the first hours of her relationship, where with Teddy, she gave free expression to her impulses. By killing the beast, the world becomes a dreary and drab enclave, where the villagers are deprived of reassuring fictional therapy. In the end, only this look, lost and annoyed, appalling result of the failings of an alienated society. It is the vibrant assessment of a protean comedy, halfway between social fable and trash horror, a breath of fresh air in the face of polluting repetitions that will undoubtedly accompany cinemas this summer.
• Original title : Teddy
• Realization : Ludovic Boukherma & Zoran Boukherma
• Scenario: Ludovic Boukherma & Zoran Boukherma
• Main actors : Anthony Bajon, Christine Gautier, Ludocic Torrent, Noémie Lvovsky
• Release date : June 30, 2021
• Duration : 1h28min