So picture this…a full philharmonic orchestra in black-tie playing in the middle of an open field to no audience…now picture the conductor, leading said orchestra, in nothing but a pair of red briefs suddenly being chased by the police. This is how French director Quentin Dupieux‘s latest cop comedy, “Keep an Eye Out” (pun intended) opens. And it only gets stranger from there — but in the best way possible.
Cut to the inside of a police precinct and Fugain (Grégoire Ludig) being interrogated about the dead body he stumbled upon by a no nonsense cop (but really totally nonsensical) played by the Belgian funnyman Benoît Poelvoorde. As the interrogation progresses with Fugain being the only suspect in site, Commissaire Buran leaves Fugain under the supervision of a bizarre one-eyed rookie cop, Philippie (Marc Fraize) when he has to step out for a family matter. And weird shenanigans ensue. As Fugain gives his eye-witness account, we are transported back in time to earlier in the night and we keep getting pulled out the memory as Buran keeps interrupting to give commentary. If you thought the film opened bizarrely, just wait…it gets kookier.
Coming in at a scant 73 minutes, Dupieux’s “Keep an Eye Out” bends the laws of time and space and keeps you off balance the entire time. The writing is witty, the pacing is great and the acting performances are top notch. The comedic timing and chemistry between the two leads is impeccable and Poelvoorde’s laughable good bad cop is so good juxtapose to Ludig’s straight man who is just trying to prove his innocence. The film is surreal but still grounded in reality and just so fun to watch. The whole time, you’re asking “what is happening here?!” — but not in a bad way. The film keeps you guessing and on your toes until the very end. Although “Keep an Eye Out” and Dupieux’s signature style may not be for everyone, you still have to give it to the cast and crew for going there — and doing it with a straight face. As a viewer, you never know where this film is going to go, but that’s what makes this so good. “Keep an Eye Out” is absurd but such a fun ride — be prepared for an unexpected ending. If absurdist dark comedy is your thing (like it’s mine), you’ll love this one!
“KEEP AN EYE OUT” opens in theaters and virtual cinemas nationwide on Friday, March 5, 2021.