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GOLIATH (2022, FRANCE) – 7/10

It does not share this French activist thriller – drama in name only with the American series in which Billy Bob Thornton was a lawyer haunted by personal demons, but he did not hesitate to engage in court battles with much more powerful rivals. Very similar to his Billy McBride is Patrick Fameau (Gilles Lelouche), a lawyer who specializes in environmental issues and this time engaged in a fight against the powerful chemical industry. And as we learn in the opening of the film shot by Frederic Tellier, “Goliath” is a film based on real events and real people, and although it is one of those cautionary combinations of thrillers and dramas, the biggest problem is that we have seen it all before. .

Unfortunately, we are well aware of how the world works today and that the well-being and health of the “little”, ordinary man is much less important than corporate interests and profits. We all know very well that we live in a cynical world where, for the most part, everyone looks at their own ass and doesn’t waver too much until they get fucked themselves. We live in a conformist society and there are really few people who would be willing to give up the life they have in order to engage in uncertainty and fight for some ideals or the idea of ​​a better and fairer society. And although I normally like such socially activist, problematic films that warn about certain anomalies or situations, “Goliath” still remained for me on a pamphlet level. It’s as if Tellier focused all his energy in an activist direction, and forgot that he was making a feature film and that it should have some characters and a human story that the viewer will cling to. Everything else here is too general, too superficial, and after this film we didn’t actually learn anything we didn’t already know – corporations are poisoning us, there is evidence for that, everyone knows everything, but it is turned a blind eye because these companies are more powerful than states today and can whatever he wants.

An idealistic lawyer in “Goliath” will go after the powerful chemical industry. She has been producing pesticides for years, which numerous studies show are carcinogenic, and Patrick’s client just died of cancer, which he is convinced was caused by the pesticide, since the woman was a farmer. And from an area where deformed children have been born for years (in France!, not somewhere in Bangladesh or the Central African Republic), and the situation will escalate when the farmer’s partner sets herself on fire in front of the company’s Paris headquarters. To make the situation not simple, we follow the whole story from the perspective of two other main characters.

France (Emmanuelle Bercot) is a teacher who will become a radical activist after her husband also gets cancer due to exposure to controversial pesticides. The third important character is Mathias (Pierre Niney), a young and ambitious lobbyist who was hired by the accused chemical industry in order to twist the whole story, which could bring serious damage to the company. And it’s a real shame that by the end of “Goliath” it will almost turn into a pamphlet story because it had a lot of potential in the beginning. The most interesting parts for me were certainly those when we watch from the inside how the world of those lobbyists, spin doctors, manipulators and crooks of the worst kind, ready for a handful of euros to defend something that is obviously completely indefensible, works.