Sami Bouajila assures him: he is the “silent” type. The actor we meet on the premises of his artistic agency seems indeed haunted by his character. “We look alike in a disturbing way, Moussa and I,” he swears in a calm voice. He won’t say more. Like his character, the responses of the comedian with metallic hair and soft eyes are short, sometimes fleeting. In Minethe new film by Roshdy Zem, the Caesarized actor embodies a man whose psyche is reversed after a fall on the head. Moussa, willingly introverted, abhorring conflict situations, becomes unfiltered. Suddenly, he begins to say what he thinks to those close to him, in defiance of their moods. A crisis of acute psychopathy, to the point of causing his family unit to implode. His daughter wants to study communication in Montreal? “Comms are bullshit,” his father replies. His son comes to take care of him during his convalescence? “Do you think I need a guy like you at home?” », Sweeps his father, at the risk of taking a right hook. “Playing this character who changes completely, it’s a real kiff of actor”, confirms Bouajila, impressive just in the role.
The family brought to the screen by Roshdy Zem does indeed exist: it is his. Moussa, played by Bouajila, is the director’s brother. A few years ago, Moustapha, the real one, was affected by the same symptoms as the character. “I knew him well, remembers Sami Bouajila. Moustapha is cured today but his sudden personality change has been very hard for those close to him. Roshdy Zem begins writing the film while his brother is still recovering. Maiwenn, also in the cast, quickly joined him in writing. Most of the scenes in Les Miens are thus inspired by reality: Moussa loses his job in the tertiary sector and insults his boss with all the names? “Moustapha also went through a fairly violent episode of burnout,” Sami Bouajila tells us. The mix between reality and fiction goes further: the neuro-psy on the screen is camped by the doctor who followed Moustapha after his accident.
Mine is a powerful film. First, by the finesse with which he sketches the reality of family ties, the things left unsaid, the things we refuse to hear for fear of upsetting the balance that reigns between its members. The family reunion scenes, which gather around a dining room a slew of high-flying actors – Roshdy Zem as a class defector, Maiwenn his lonely wife, Rachid Bouchareb whose comedic talents we had forgotten – strike the viewer with their accuracy and alternate situations of embarrassment, laughter, complicity and aggression. Everyone will find there, by dazzling, his own family life on film.
Then, Roshdy Zem appears overwhelming in a role that we imagine inspired by his own life. Ryad, his character, became the star presenter of a prime time football show on television. He is the one his nieces call to get internships, the one who is also asked a lot and who, ill at ease, displays his distance from the rest of the family. A formidable scene opposes him in mirror image to Sami Bouajila in the bar of a hotel and one immediately thinks of Al Pacino facing From Niro in Heat. Sami Bouajila is amused: “We have always been compared. We’re the same age, and when we started, we always found ourselves applying for the same roles. »
However, we leave the room with a feeling of incompleteness. The screenplay promise was great. At several moments, we believe that the film is going to take off, to explore the vertiginous potentialities that this 180° change of personality could cause: it is not so. Roshdy Zem’s film, perhaps dealing with a subject too close to him, withers for the sake of realism. The scenario is eaten up by the facts. He focuses on the repercussions within the family, which ultimately quickly absorbs the shock. The patient recovers, the film ends with bursts of laughter.