Mon Roi is a story about Tony (Emanuelle Bercot), a lawyer who one day bumps into Georgio (Vincent Cassel) in a club. Tony recognises Georgio as one of her customers when she worked in a pub in her younger days. He is now a restaurant owner in town. Although the two are quite different – they hit it off quite immediately, to the dismay of Tony’s younger brother Solal (Louis Garrel) and his partner Babeth (Isild Le Besco). Georgio’s insecurity and his tendency to hang around his hip friends – as well as his glamorous ex-girlfriend Agnes (Chrystèle Saint Louis Augustin) annoys Tony. All of these emotional undercurrents re-surface when she undergoes a series of therapy to rehabilitate her after a skiing accident.
This film is not an easy watch – as the director Maïwenn – creates a story that is very engaging and you can’t help empathise with Tony as she grapples with Georgio’s selfishness and immaturity. It is almost a movie is a veiled criticism or exposé against male self-centredness: the desire to have a lady and an offspring, the need for independence and freedom, and not willing to grow up. The conversations in the movie are witty and to the point – when Tony and Georgio argue, you can’t help feeling emotionally affected and becoming angry as well.
Emanuelle Bercot is a terrific in her portrayal of Tony – a once-powerful woman who is psychologically bullied and pushed to the point of breaking down. Vincent Cassel is also perfectly cast as Georgio – as somebody who is funny and easy-going, but selfish and unwilling to grow up. The movie has its weaknesses and can be tinkered to make it better, however, as it stands with several clunky points here and there, it serves as a nice punch in the stomach for me as a male viewer. It’s as if all of the latent masculine wishes and desires were blown-up and intensified, shown as something childish and self-centred. A good food for thought, indeed.