Recently separated 44-year-old Georges spends his last remaining cash on a 100% deerskin jacket and heads into the countryside. Posing as a filmmaker he involves local bartender Denise to help make a film of his and his jacket’s exploits, including murdering anyone who doesn’t surrender their jacket.
It’s difficult to determine whether Georges is being possessed by the jacket or whether he is just losing his mind every time he takes someone else’s’ jacket and shoves it in the boot of his car. He soon convinces himself he is a filmmaker and starts to believe his own lies about why he has no money. Georges believes what he says or rather what his jacket tells him so much that you start to agree with what he’s saying, that is until the murder spree happens. Jean Dujardin is eerily perfect for the role of Georges, bringing sad charisma and matter of fact-ness to the darkly comedic tone of the film. His slow and steady descent into murderous territory is both ridiculous and terrifying, especially as he requires more 100% clothing to add to his ‘killer style’ as he calls it.
Shifting from collaborator to enabler, Denise seems to be taken in by Georges’ paper-thin story as she herself is creative and eager for any opportunity that comes her way. She neither questions how or why Georges is doing what he is doing, even asking for more bloody shots so she has something to work with. Her drive, seemingly more creative than his, is to get the film finished and remains in the dark about the other purpose for the events of the past few days. Denise is there to feed Georges and the jacket’s ego at the same time, giving herself a purpose, which becomes clearer towards the sudden climax.
The wonderful absurdity of the entire plot is to be admired and not questioned too much, just like Georges’ film he is making. Once you ask too many questions, the whole story unravels. A twisted comedy about a man and his jacket who go around killing people, for their jackets is curious, to say the least, but what’s better is that it’s just strange brilliance.
Dir: Quentin Dupieux
Prd: Thomas Verhaeghe, Mathieu Verhaeghe
Scr: Quentin Dupieux
Cast: Jean Dujardin, Adele Haenel
DoP: Quentin Dupieux
Running time: 77 minutes
Deerskin is being screened at the BFI London Film Festival 11th & 13th October 2019