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The world of gambling is Vincent’s home ground. Horse racing, poker games, lucky and unlucky streaks, Vincent knows it all. He’s sharp and canny, extravagant and cool — everything that André, his friend and neighbour, isn’t. André is a tormented writer, closeted day and night in his crummy hotel room, trying to finish up his first novel. But just now, Vincent is the one whose chips are down. Up to his ears in debt and leaned on by evermore threatening loan sharks, his only chance of salvation is to win back his losses by playing in the year’s biggest poker game.
I wanted to make a film about a particular milieu, that of lowlife characters who are out to make a quick buck. They often play dirty! The rules of the game are violent, as borrowed money is very expensive. It’s high risk money. If you can’t pay it back on time, they’ll break a finger or an arm or shoot you. These guys don’t play around. There are rules and they are real.
It was important for me to show that this violence exists, but I wanted to defuse it with dashes of humour and comical situations that raise a laugh. I wanted to dynamize the tension of the cop flick by giving it a comic strip tone through the choice of framing, lenses, sets, costumes, camerawork etc., and a healthy dose of mockery.
Maurice Illouz (excerpt from press kit)