Noah (Thibaut Cattelin) is taking a trip with his friends when he meets Lohan (Jules Bahloul), a bad boy surrounded by an air of mystery. Spending seven days together, Noah and Lohan grow closer and with that comes a rollercoaster of emotion. Both with health issues – Noah takes pills due to past trauma and Lohan is a chain-smoking asthmatic – the two boys are drawn to one another and find their friendship quickly progressing into something more.
‘Rosodium’ is a short film, clocking in at only 60 minutes, from director Théodore Tomasz who co-wrote the screenplay with Théo Roudant and Manon Villeneuve. A deliberately vague and almost dream-like watch, the film feels more like a concept than a fully-fledged story. While it’s clear that Noah and Lohan are attracted to one another, pretty much everything else that happens in the film is open to interpretation, including whether or not what you’re watching is actually even happening. Tomasz weaves reality and fantasy together in such as way that you can never be too sure what’s real and what isn’t.
The film definitely has an identity crisis. Is it a straight-forward drama? Is it a little bit sci-fi? Is is a love story? It never really truly knows. Noah has visions that are never really fully explained and we only know Lohan is a bad boy because we’re told he is. The back stories of both characters are missing so the audience can only take them at face value. We learn even less about Noah’s friends who he’s on the trip with, and they appear to only pop up to add more faces on screen every now and again.
The two lead actors – Thibaut Cattelin and Jules Bahloul – don’t really get a lot to work with. Their characters are paper thin and apart from their sexual chemistry, there’s not a lot really to sink your teeth into. Cattelin and Bahloul look fantastic together, and they do bounce off one another, but without clearly defined characters they struggle. Due to the nature of the narrative, it’s difficult to root for either of them and the film tries too hard to turn your expectations on their head.
With such a short run-time, ‘Rosodium’ doesn’t really get the chance it needs to breathe. That results in an interesting concept that’s sadly under-baked and it’s hard to really let yourself go with the flow. There are certainly interesting moments along the way but by the time the credits arrive, you’ll find you were wishing that there was a little more substance to the film overall. Tomasz has an interesting idea on his hands here but unfortunately, it’s not realised enough to be an engaging watch.
Cast: Thibaut Cattelin, Jules Bahloul Director: Théodore Tomasz Writers: Théo Roudant, Manon Villeneuve & Théodore Tomasz Certificate: 15 Duration: 60 mins Released by: TLA Releasing Release date: 23rd October 2023 Buy ‘Rosodium’ now
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