Fall of the American Empire

By: 
John Thomas

He is conflicted. When confronted with decision making, he sees too many variables to decide on just one - let alone the correct one. As Pierre-Paul (Alexandre Landry) tries to explain to his bank-teller, a rather drab girl friend, “I’m just too intelligent to do anything more than drive a package delivery truck around the city. I have a PhD in philosophy and I think beyond what the average person thinks.”

He uses the example of a door-to-door vacuum cleaner sales person. “They don’t have to be too bright to sell vacuums, they just have to believe in the product and be convinced it is the best one and will be for the prospective buyer. This belief will be passed along to the buyer who might even buy an upgraded model. Based on his sales, the salesman will likely be promoted to a higher position in the company, maybe even CEO. I could never do that.” She understands - somewhat.

Pierre-Paul makes a routine delivery next-door to the site of a robbery in progress. The robbery goes very wrong. The victims are shot as are the perpetrators as they lug colossal duffel bags out of the building. They collapse on the parking lot in front of Pierre-Paul. He peers into one of the bags to discover it packed with money. What to do? Leave the money and run or leave with the money? He decides on the latter. Now what?

Being so conflicted and now so wealthy, he decides to visit a porn site on his computer - what else? One of the “escorts” peaks his curiosity so he calls to invite her over. Aspasie/Camille (Maripier Morin) appears at his door. She turns out to be much more and much better than he had anticipated. Camille soon becomes his aide-dis-camp. A shift in scene: a university economics class is finished for the day. Sylvan (Rémy Girard), one of the students, is escorted out of the classroom by two policemen who take him to a van to return him to the prison where he is serving time but also allowed to complete a degree in finance. He too will eventually become an aide-dis-camp.

The three convene and try to decide what to do with the money? The question becomes more significant when the owners of the money begin to question where it is and who has it? The police are of course investigating as well. All fingers point to Pierre-Paul who appears as conflicted as ever. Sylvan, out of college and prison has learned well in both places, he has a solution, a plan and a secret. Camille has ideas, assets and managing skills of her own - and also a secret.

After much debate, the trio devise a farfetched complex plan. They will need the help of just one more person - the ex-girlfriend. Together, under the cover of a homeless shelter, the four initiate their scheme to rid themselves of their enormous pile of money. One arrest is eventually made which leads the authorities to investigate the homeless shelter. Time is of the essence. Who will prevail at the shelter, the police or the conflicted?

Directed by Denys Arcand (Credits: Burghers of Vancouver, An Eye for Beauty), this is a “must see” movie that runs 127 minutes,

johan@beachcomber.news

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