Although interestingly described as a romantic drama set against the dangers of the nuclear power industry, Grand Central (2013) was a wee bit of a let down. Co-written and directed by Rebecca Zlotowski it does however have a powerful cast headed up by Lea Seydoux who won very high praise in one of the best films of 2013 Blue is the Warmest Colour and Tahar Rahim who was in the award winning French prison drama A Prophet (2009) and also took the lead in Free Men (2011) which tells the largely untold story of the role the Muslims played in the French resistance and the rescue of Jews from under the noses of the German occupation.Gary Manda (Rahim) is an unskilled and therefore expendable worker who gets a job in a nuclear power plant to clean and repair nuclear reactors. He works under the supervision of veteran Gilles (Oliver Gourment), a man whose family has left him because of the pressures of his job, and Toni (Denis Menochet) who lives with, and plans to marry, Karole (Seydoux) an attractive sad looking women who also works at the plant. Radiation contamination is a daily risk and if a workers radiation levels rise they not only loose their job but there is a good chance of getting a cancer related disease. Adding to this sense of danger Gary has fallen for Karole whose illicit meeting’s on the riverbank has not gone unnoticed by the other men.
|Testing radiation levels.|
This is unfortunately an unfulfilling film that promises a lot but delivers little considering the importance attached to its subject matter. The story does not really go anywhere and is difficult to follow at times. But Rebecca Zlotowski should be commended for showing us a world that the majority of us were unaware of.