Stuck Together (8 Rue de l’Humanité) is a French comedy about the early weeks of the pandemic when France was under a strict lockdown. The story revolves around the families living in an apartment building in Paris, trying to remain calm, bond-together to get over the fear and stress caused by the onslaught of COVID-19. There is no story, the screenplay covers the interpersonal dynamics between the residents and how they resolve them. There were moments that were relatable and enjoyable, but at two hours, the film loses our attention quickly and becomes boring. It gets a ‘Raw’ rating in the mangoidiots scale and is available on Netflix.
Tony, a Belgian, is the owner of the building living with his teenage daughter and his young son is arrogant and treats his tenants with contempt. There are three families, two shopkeepers and one caretaker living in the compound. Martin, a reporter lives with his wife and their young daughter is one of them. Martin is paranoid, wears masks and sprays disinfectant all the time, providing the humour background for the film. His wife, Claire, is a lawyer and a practical woman who struggles with calming down Martin. The two kids – the girl of Martin and the boy of Tony are being typical kids. The other family in the compound is a young couple, a fitness instructor, and his pregnant wife. The third is an African French lady who remains mysterious. On the ground floor is a pathology lab run by an eccentric researcher – he is their local health expert and is in the process of discovering a vaccine. Next to the lab is an eatery-and-bar run by an old lady, which was shut due to the lockdown.
I wish the film covered a slightly wider canvas and was shorter in length. The pandemic has been a long road of suffering, pain and human triumph, there are so many stories to be told about it and I wish Indian filmmakers too start telling more of them.