The Family (2013)
Director: Luc Besson
Tags: Comedy, black comedy, action, suspense, crime, thriller, witness protection, mafia, farce
Genre: comedy, crime, thriller
Synopsis: This is a story about a family in “The Family”. Just your average, run of the mill mob family in witness protection, in Normandy, France, with a $20 million price tag on their heads. Each member of the family is making their own marks, or scars, in each new town they live in, and for this reason they move around quite a lot. The Family is a dark comedy farce that takes you in a different direction. We’ve seen plenty of mob-guy movies, most of which have Robert DeNiro in them, but this is the first time that you see an entire family playing the role. When this family comes together to fight the mob killers, their individual talents shine through. Proving that it takes a family to stand up to “The Family”.
Review: The Family is a black comedy, a farce, about a family in the mob who later turns states evidence and is forced to go on the run in the witness protection program.
There is a balance in this film between a loving family, and their failed attempts to be normal. It asks the question, “What is normal?” If you come from generations people in the mafia, and you were raised to take over the family business, then normal might be what we see in this movie. What happens when you try to take advantage of a mob guy? Or his wife? Or his teenage children? If you look at it in this way, the film seems more normal. Of course the plumber who tries to fill his pockets, with no assurances that the problem will actually be fixed, would end up in the hospital with multiple broken bones. It’s what you’d expect from a mob guy. This logic goes on throughout the movie, so obviously there is a ton of violence with no remorse. This code of ethics is taught to his family, an eye for an eye. This is why Fred usually leaves dead, or at least broken, bodies in his wake. Maggie is a torch artist. Belle, age 17, is a hopeless romantic with a mean backhand. Warren is into everything that’s usually associated with the mob, and he’s 14. In their own individual ways they each embody what they were raised to be, mobsters.
One of the funniest moments in the film was when Fred decides to re-invent himself as an historical writer, even though he’s never actually written anything, until he decides to write his own memoirs. Fred and Robert Stansfield, their handler with witness protection, go to a film debate one night, to give the American perspective on a film, and because of a screw up in the films delivery, they end up watching Goodfellas and talk about the reality of the film, much to the dismay of the agent Stansfield. When Goodfellas starts, there is a definite smirk on DeNiro’s face. This movie makes fun of itself in a non-apologetic way, it is entertaining and smart. I think anyone with a decent sense of humor, especially a dark one, would enjoy this movie.