Georges (Jean Dujardin) is traveling to a destination to meet a man who is selling a second-hand jacket made completely from Deerskin. When Georges meets the man and sees the jacket, he falls in love with it instantly. The jacket is in perfect condition and naturally, Georges must have it. He pays $7,500 in cash for the jacket and as a gesture of goodwill, the man selling the jacket also give Georges a bonus video camera which he no longer uses. Georges accepts and drives away.
But when Georges’ bank accounts become blocked, Georges is his forced to stay in a hotel and scam his way into staying there as along as possible without paying. While staying in the hotel, he decides to even lie about his profession and claim to the people around him that he is a famous filmmaker making a new film in town.
But this movie gets even wilder when Georges begins to have discussions with his second-hand jacket to the point that Georges develops a type of split personality where one personality is Georges and the others is the Deerskin Jacket. Georges and his jacket share their dreams and goals with one another, questioning how nice it would it be if there was only one jacket in the world, and if it was worn by Georges. But how will they achieve these dreams together?
Deerskin has a wonderful setup. Early in the film we witness that Georges is unsatisfied with his current jacket to the point where he attempts to flush it down the toilet. But it’s clear that Georges is obsessed with his new, second-hand, deerskin jacket and it brings him a new level of confidence when he’s interacting with other people. But the fact he is willing to blow his life savings and possibly turn to crime for it brings a darker and yet humorous side to the film. This is an element that I really enjoyed as I found it to be unexpected and unpredictable as a plot.
The performance of Georges, played by Jean Dujardin, is simply great. This is a character who seems to start out as a nice guy, but as his obsession with his jacket is revealed it is great to see his performance. I particularly enjoyed seeing the actor trying to have a conversation with himself in which he represented both himself and the jacket plotting together. The character is quite sinister, but somehow, he manages to bring a touch of humour to the screen- something which is never easy for an actor to do. The acting here cannot be faulted.
As for the plot, while it might seem to be slightly slow-paced, I am thankful to see there is something happening in every scene and each scene grows into something else plot-wise. In most cases, each scene reveals Georges getting himself deeper and deeper as he continues to lie to the people around him. At no point did I feel bored with this film. I found myself getting more and more invested as the film progressed and the film’s ending only made my jaw drop to the floor. The musical score is basic but extremely effective given the film’s tones. This is also a French film with subtitles and everything was simple to follow.
Overall, what Deerskin delivers is a fantastic slice of cinema with an incredible and unforgettable performance by Jean Dujardin. I found myself quite fond of the unique directing style by Quentin Dupieux as he delivers a plot which is unlike anything I have seen before. Deerskin is loaded with fun and surprising moments, and is unpredictable at every turn including the horror aspects. I most certainly enjoyed this film and every moment of it and I cannot wait until I have the opportunity to watch it again.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden