‘Mama Weed’ Review: Huppert Slings Hash

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The chief of police, on a date with an interpreter in his department, tries to compliment him with an observation about his “paradoxical” nature. She looks so small and fragile, but still has extraordinary self-confidence!

The poor man, whose name is Philippe, has no idea who he’s talking to. Not in the fictional “Mama Weed” universe, where translator Patience Portefeux turns out to be a criminal mastermind. And certainly not in the world the rest of us live in. played with patience Isabelle Huppert, the person who wrote this paradox on his business card. Philippe’s insight is so ridiculously clear that director Jean-Paul Salomé accuses him of a lack of imagination.

The list of accusations against this juicy coffee au lait criminal gang is vast – tedious ethnic clichés, police-movie clichés, clumsy progress, a troublesome conspiracy – but the greatest crime is wasting the time and talent of the greatest. movie actors of our time. Huppert’s craftsmanship and energy are impeccable (Hippolyte Girardot, who plays Philippe, is pretty good too), but the script and direction undermine him at every turn.

Patience is the child of a Jewish mother (Liliane Rovère, the beloved Arlette of “Call My Agent”) and a longtime Algerian father translating wiretaps and interrogations of Arabic-speaking subjects for the Paris police. A large shipment of marijuana arrives from Morocco, and when she learns that her mother’s caretaker (Farida Ouchani) has a smuggling son, she uses her language skills and innate cunning to manipulate the cargo and rescue the youngsters. man serious jail time.

Suddenly possessing 700 kilos of illegal property, Patience decides to evacuate it. A widow with two daughters, persistent money worries and an uncertain underworld family background, as well as connections to law enforcement, has both the motivation and the resources to become a drug lord, or queen as the case may be, at least temporarily. .

She adopts the persona of Mama Weed (French for “la daronne”), an impatient, enterprising North African mother – she wears a headscarf, flashy jewelery and heavy lipstick, and benefits from the services of Scotch (Rachid Guellaz) and Chocapic (Mourad Boudaoud). , a couple of clumsy little timers. He also forms an alliance with Madame Fo (Jade Nadja Nguyen), the all-seeing, guilty-minded head of the apartment block, where Patience is almost the only non-Chinese resident.

As Philippe and his colleagues approach the real owners of the hash, the film simultaneously accelerates into melodrama, farce, and shoot-em-up before it gets anywhere interesting. There are many movies that Huppert has saved by his presence, but this is one bad movie he’s in.

mother grass
Not rated. French, Arabic and Yiddish, with subtitles. Duration: 1 hour 44 minutes. In movie theaters.

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