To life, to death

Benoît Magimel and Reda Kateb in Omar the strawberry, a funny fresco on the wanderings of two pitiless thugs. Iconoclast, Chi-Fou-Mi Productions, Studiocanal, France 2 Cinema 2023

CRITICAL In a dark, hilarious and speedy comedy, Elias Belkeddar follows the run of two thugs in perdition. Reda Kateb and Benoît Magimel are jubilant.

We’re crazy. In France, Omar took it for twenty years. He’s an old-fashioned thug, a violent suburban kingpin who plays it off. To escape prison, he retreated to Algiers, with his friend, Roger. Between the two men on the run, who have known each other since childhood, it is life and death. They turn in circles. Caged tigers. Misery may be more beautiful in the sun, but even with money, Omar is bored. He is depressed. He misses the camembert. He does not really find his family roots.

The alleys of Algiers are teeming with dangerous traffic. A monstrous fight breaks out between dealers and bloodshed. In their billionaire villa, where the swimming pool and the rooms have remained empty, the tough guys snort coke, drink champagne. A neighbor is doing her garden. A feeling of impunity lives in them. Roger tries to protect Omar from himself. The latter finds a respectable job in the factory of a thug who launders his money by producing…

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