Francis Veber hasn't only written and directed for himself, he has also penned scenarios for the others. Thus, he well served Edouard Molinaro for "l'Emmerdeur" (1972), Pierre Granier-Deferre with "Adieu Poulet" (1975) and Jean-Jacques Annaud with this "Coup De Tête". Shot before more ambitious plans would come to his mind ("le Nom De la Rose", 1986 or "l'Ours", 1988), this film ferociously demystifies football and as it's a very popular game in France, it was a refreshing, necessary gesture even if the film didn't do very well at the French box-office for evident reasons: it lingered on the other side of the picture. From the outset with the choice of the scenery (the film was shot in Auxerre, a famous town for its football team) the first steps of the plot and the role of the characters, the authors' intentions are clear: to seal an alliance between entertainment and onslaught. This is what underpins the film. Through François Perrin's (Patrick Deweare) fall and rise, Annaud and Veber vent their spleens on the unscrupulous leaders of the football club and the shameless actions or schemings they adopt to preserve their interests or their players'. Violence, bribery, blackmail and the manipulative power they exert towards the players, the supporters even the population make the object of a specific, eloquent demonstration to amount to a simple, efficient denunciation. And when Stéphanie reveals what lies beneath the false rape accusation that hangs over Perrin, the attack is doubly intense. The plot deftly incorporates these doubtful actions and is helped by a laid-back Patrick Deweare who brews revenge in his glory hour. Perhaps Veber and Annaud should have more insisted on his bad temper. Another tawdry aspect of football will be explored by Jean-Pierre Mocky in his "a Mort l'Arbitre!" (1984): blind fanaticism that can grab rabid supporters and lead them to murder.
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The miserable football player becomes a town hero after bringing victory in extremely important game. He uses his fame for revenge to the team star for the previous mockeries.
November 16, 2021