Filmmaker Lola Quivoron’s immersive debut film “Rodeo” takes us on an exhilarating journey through the world of motocross in the Parisian suburbs. The film revolves around a fearless female rider who challenges the male-dominated sport. Julie Ledru‘s standout performance as the natural-born rider is worth watching as it leaves a lasting impression on the audience. The film beautifully blends elements of crime drama, character study, and existential intrigue, offering a narrative that perfectly balances between celebration and sadness. Quivoron ingeniously showcases her talent as a daring filmmaker, making a profound impact on the industry.
The cinematic fate that befalls Julia in “Rodeo” is undeniably visually striking, yet it leaves viewers with a narrative resolution that falls short of satisfaction. Throughout the film, Quivoron grants her protagonist the opportunity to evolve and reveal a broader spectrum of emotions, allowing the audience to connect with her on a deeper level. However, in an unexpected twist, Quivoron reverts to the conventional tough-guy movie archetype for Julia, a shift that feels somewhat dissonant with the film’s prior trajectory.
We yearn to uncover the origins of that countenance, yet “Rodeo” is a film that remains exclusively on the surface, dwelling entirely in the present moment, and embracing an unmistakably chic French verité style. The closest the movie comes to delving into character development is when Julie asserts, “I was born with a bike between my legs,” leaving little room for further exploration.
“Rodeo” skillfully adopts a documentary-like aesthetic that immerses viewers in the gritty realism of its world. Yet, as the story unfolds, it takes a daring and almost reckless turn towards the mythic, departing from its earlier grounded approach. This cinematic choice, while undoubtedly bold, may leave audiences pondering the sudden shift in tone and narrative direction.