Movie Review

Dheepan (2015)

I saw Dheepan (2015) today on Netflix. This is a 2015 Cannes Film Festival award winner. It’s a brilliant film about a Sri Lankan family who arrive in France, after escaping the war, who are trying to build a new life in foreign country.

The film starts with the last days of Sri Lankan Civil war, a Tamil Tiger leader Sivadhasan is shown burning the corpses of the men from his unit, he then moves to a relief camp. There he gets a chance to escape to France on a passport of a dead man by name Dheepan, but for his refugee story to be complete, he needs to have a wife and a kid. He finds Yalini, a 26-year-old lady to act as his wife and a 9-year-old Illayal to pose as his daughter. This newly formed family of three, then travel by boat to Madras (India), boards a flight to Paris (France) where they seek political asylum.

Dheepan gets a job as a caretaker in Le Pré community outside Paris. While after few false starts Illayal settles down in her new environment and starts going to school, gets fluent in French, her relationship with Yalini is not getting easy. Meanwhile, Yalini and Dheepan find it awkward to keep pretending to be a couple. The dynamics between the three as they struggle to forge a family is shown very well by Director Jacques Audiard. Unknown to the three of them the community is infested with drug dealers and Dheepan finds himself in middle of a gun battle once again.  How they out from there and go on to becoming a “real” family is what Dheepan (2015) is.