The Hedgehog

★★★★★★★☆☆☆

 I recently watched The Hedgehog, or Le Hérisson, a French film that was released in France in 2009 and in the United States in August 2011. I was looking for a movie to watch with my family, and came across this in the Vudu New Releases category once again.  The Hedgehog tells the story of three characters of differing ages and ethnicities, and a main theme of the film is the importance of friendship.

 Each one of the main characters are in a different stage and acceptance with the life they currently lead.  Each interaction between Renée, the apartment building super, Paloma, a depressed eleven-year-old resident and Kakuro, a new wealthy Japanese resident, presents an insight into the commemoratory and love that can develop between friends.  Several comparisons and differences can be drawn between characters; Paloma and Renée are both discontent with their lives, in fact Paloma plans to end hers within a few months.  Unlike the two women, Kakuro is a very cultured and world man who shares his Japanese culture with Renée, providing an insight into Japanese culture.  The Hedgehog provides a commentary on the distribution of wealth in France, but it is not dwelled on too much to the point that it becomes overwhelming.

 The Hedgehog is a subtitled movie filmed in French and based on a novel entitled The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, which sold over one million copies in France.  Similar to other French films, the story took a while to develop, and the overall story was fairly slow-paced.  Paloma’s dry and sarcastic sense of humor is entertaining throughout the film and is especially comical because she is eleven years old.  There were still action-filled parts that left us gasping in surprise.  Ultimately, I would recommend The Hedgehog if you are looking for a film that explores two main values of life, including love and friendship.

(photo from www.circlecinema.com)

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