Rodeo sets the tone from the very beginning, engrossing you with its intense and gritty action. The film introduces us to Julia (Julie Ledru), a strong and resilient young woman who faces the harsh realities of living in a challenging world. Despite being another one of these stories about our protagonist, who is impoverished and being dealt a difficult hand, Julia refuses to back down. When her bike is stolen, she makes it her mission to retrieve it, showcasing her unbreakable willpower and determination. The viewer can sense Julia’s fighting spirit from the first frame, and the camera does a wonderful job capturing her adrenaline-fueled journey, immersing you in the action and excitement. It’s hard not to be in awe of Julia’s strength and resilience as she unleashes her power, leaving you on the edge of your seat every second as the film continues to roll.
Rodeo is exactly the rad and badass kind of film that is just waiting to be discovered and devoured – as it should be. No, it isn’t perfect by any means, but it excels at what it sets out to do: deliver an action-packed and empowering story about a young woman who refuses to be knocked down by the very world she lives in. It’s hard to believe that this is Julie Ledru’s first film. Ledru brings authenticity and rawness to the role of Julia, which truly captivates you throughout the film. She is not only completely believable throughout the entire flick playing this young, tough woman who loves to ride and steal bikes for a living. She plays the part as if she’s lived it herself, infusing each scene with a palpable sense of emotion and depth. There isn’t a single moment while you watch the film when you see right through her, and that’s not something easy to do, especially for a burgeoning actor. Ledru commands the audience and does it beautifully and naturally.
It’s very clear that Julia loves riding motorcycles, and it’s a pure experience to watch as she holds this passion close to her heart, even if it means putting her life on the line while doing it. The film artfully portrays the high stakes of Julia’s unwavering pursuit as well as the potential for her to end up isolated and alone. Amongst her group, Kaïs (Yanis Lafki) seems to be the only one who truly understands and respects Julia’s desires. However, as Julia begins to grow closer to Ophélie (Antonia Buresi), she begins to notice how a man can do anything it takes to keep the one they love close. It’s a poignant reminder of the delicate balance between love and possession, and how that balance can shape the trajectory of one’s life.
Rodeo may take inspiration from the Fast and Furious films with bits of various arthouse coming-of-age narratives, but it manages to stick out from the crowd and thrill without feeling like a blatant ripoff. Lola Quivoron’s directorial debut is nothing short of impressive, standing out as one of the most gripping and exhilarating debuts you’ll lay eyes on. You’d be forgiven for thinking that Quivoron has decades of filmmaking experience under her belt, as her skillful direction and mastery of the craft are on full display. From start to finish, Rodeo holds the audience’s attention with ease, crafting scenes that leave you on the edge of your seat and a narrative that keeps you hooked until the very end. Her natural talent for storytelling and filmmaking captures the motorcycle gang vibe authentically. It makes for one hell of an entertaining film.
Combined with a stellar soundtrack, featuring some great songs that make these scenes pop even more, Rodeo delivers an adrenaline-fueled cinematic experience. While the film’s cinematography may not be flawless, with lots of jittery close-ups that can be distracting at times, the shots of the crew riding out on the road together are so great that you’ll clearly forget about the minor flaws. Shot by Director of Photography Raphaël Vandenbussche, who knows how to fill the screen with energy, the film is a French thriller that blends heists and self-discovery. Quivoron not only proves she knows how to tell a good story, but can also direct a nitty-gritty, riveting film with fantastic action that will keep you wanting more. Rodeo is not the most original film out there, but it does leave you wanting to go on more rides from this director.
Rodeo opens in New York and Chicago on March 17 courtesy of Music Box Films with additional markets to follow.
Combined with a stellar soundtrack, featuring some great songs that make these scenes pop even more, Rodeo delivers an adrenaline-fueled cinematic experience.
It all started when I was a kid watching Saturday morning cartoons like the Spider-Man: Animated Series and Batman. Since then I’ve been hooked to the world of pop culture. Huge movie lover from French New Wave, to the latest blockbusters, I love them all. Huge Star Wars and Marvel geek. When I’m free from typing away at my computer, you can usually catch me watching a good flick or reading the next best comic. Come geek out with me on Twitter @somedudecody.