Bad Seeds (Mauvaises Herbes) is a feel-good movie which, at its heart, focuses on a relationship which may get you teary-eyed.
|Good If You Like||Films Which Have A Strong Dramatic Element But Also Light Comedy|
Touching Relationships Between A Man and A Maternal Figure
People Who Have It Rough Finding Someone Who Makes Life Better
|Young Wael||Aymen Wardane|
|Young Monique||Ingrid Donnadieu|
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Bad Seeds‘ Plot Summary (Ending on 2nd Page)
Since he was a child, Wael has made a way out of no way. Be it hiding under his bed, as his family was massacred, pretending to be blind, or trusting his life with Monique. Which perhaps was the best decision he ever made for even as an adult, the two are together. However, while she will never claim to be old, Monique is getting up in age and Wael still cons and steals to survive. Even with them long moving far from the country he was born in.
So, upon becoming reacquainted with a man named Victor, who is running a school for troubled youth, she gets Wael a job. One which starts off rocky, since Nadia, Jimmy, Fabrice, Karim, Shana, and Ludo don’t want to make things easy for him. However, in time, they begin to trust him. But, with Wael still very much attached to his old life, so comes the question of whether trouble follows him or if he seeks it out. Much less, will he get so lucky and be able to escape it this time.
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- So, how exactly did they get from where Wael was born to some part of France? Was it a visa program? Also, what has Monique been doing for work all these years?
Monique and Wael’s Relationship
Whether we are talking about when they were younger, or present day, there is something so beautiful about their relationship. Be it Monique stepping into the role of a mother for Wael, even doing illegal things to keep him afloat, or Wael taking the time to thank Monique. Not even when things are horrible, and it seems like he may be in life or death situations. If not jail. Just them joking with each other as he rubs her feet, him teasing her about her relationship with Victor, the little things, it helps you see they really did become a family. The kind she was unable to have naturally and which was stolen from him by force.
Wael’s Relationship With the Kids
While none of the kids are developed too much, it is hard to not appreciate the little we are given. Be it Shana’s situation, that Wael recognizes she is dealing with; Ludo being harassed by a terrible cop named Frank, which Wael gets involved in; or everyone helping a kid named Jimmy to read and write. Those feel-good moments will make you feel tingly inside.
On The Fence
The Story of Young Wael
Honestly, Wael’s story as a child is the kind of tale which seems like awards bait. Between his parents dying, young Wael losing his faith, his friend Joseph, and Monique’s part in it, you could have an Oscar-winning drama. If not a nominee for best foreign language film. Yet, the comedy and what happens in the present takes the film down a notch.
The Kids Could Have Been Developed More
Most of the kids were presented one issue that was an obstacle in their learning. Ludo’s issue was he was helping his mom take care of three kids. Jimmy’s issue was, because his family moved a lot, he didn’t have a proper education. As for the rest? That’s a bit harder to say. Nadia is noted for having too much of a mouth, Fabrice and Shana were absent too much, fooling around (not sexually) and talking too much. Karim? Well, it was fighting because apparently there is a turf war thing going on between Black people and Arabians.
Now, while this is more than enough to get why these kids got kicked out of school, as for them being developed beyond that? Well, it is sort of hit and miss. While Shana has a moment which may get you in your feelings, it kind of comes out of nowhere. Mind you, it is set up in such a way you get how Wael would feel the need to talk to her, but him making a big deal of a passing joke may make you wonder if you missed something.
As for the rest? Well, we never really learn what is going on with Ludo’s mom, what life is like for Karim at home and why Nadia feels the need to be right all the time. You could look at her older sister Sarah, who is a lawyer, and say it is because she idolizes her, but it seems like it should be more than that. Add in we don’t get to meet Jimmy’s parents and Fabrice is just allowed to be a total mystery, you may feel the film dropped the ball in some areas.
Overall: Positive (Worth Seeing) | Watch on Netflix
While there is a slight imbalance between Wael’s life as a child and the comedic side shown when he is an adult, as a whole the movie is entertaining. Yes, they could have done way more with the kids Wael looks after. Yeah, his childhood could have been its own movie. Yet, if you want something which will get you emotional sometimes, laugh during other times, and never teeters too far towards being depressing or over the top, Bad Seeds is for you.
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