The police captain, on a date with a translator in his department, tries to compliment her with an observation about her “contradictory” nature. She looks so small and delicate, and yet she has such extraordinary confidence!
The poor man, whose name is Philip, does not know who he is talking to. Not in the fictional universe of “Mama Weed”, in which the translator, Patience Portefex, turns out to be a criminal mastermind. And certainly not in the world the rest of us live in. Patience is played by Isabel Huppert, who has that paradox printed on her business card. Philippe’s insight is so blatantly obvious that it prompts the director, Jean-Paul Salomé, to lack imagination.
The crime caper’s list of charges against this watery café au lait is extensive – throwback ethnic stereotypes, cop-film clichés, strange pacing, a painstaking plot – but the main crime is that it wasted the time and talent of one of the supreme is the screen actor of our times. Huppert’s craft and energy are impeccable (Hippolyte Girardot, who plays Philippe, is great too), but the screenplay and direction undermine him at every turn.
Patience, the child of a Jewish mother (Dear Arlett Lillian Rovere of “Call My Agent”) and a long-standing Algerian father, works for the Paris Police translating wiretaps and interrogating Arabic-speaking subjects. A large consignment of hashish is making its way out of Morocco, and when she learns that her mother’s caretaker (Farida Ochani) has a son who is involved in smuggling, she uses her linguistic skills and innate ingenuity. To turn the cargo and rescue the children. Man with serious jail time.
Suddenly in possession of 700 kg of banned material, Patience decided to unload it. A widow with two daughters, constant money worries and an obscure underworld family history, as well as ties to law enforcement, she has both the motive and the resources to be, at least temporarily, a drug kingpin – or queenpin, As the case may be.
She adopts the persona of an impatient, enterprising North African matriarch – Mama Weed (“La Darone” in French) – wearing a hijab, garish jewelry and heavy lipstick, and enlisting the services of Scotch (Rachid Guélaz) and Chocapique (Maurad Boudoud). to do. Bubbling, a couple of little timers. She also forms an alliance with Madame Fo (Jade Nadja Nguyen), the all-seeing, criminal-minded matriarch of the apartment block, where Patience is virtually the only non-Chinese resident.
With Philip and his allies as Hash’s real masters, the film simultaneously intensifies towards melodrama, pageantry and shoot-em-up, without reaching anywhere interesting. There are plenty of movies that Huppert capitalizes on with her appearance, but that’s just a bad thing she happens to be in.
not evaluated. In French, Arabic and Yiddish, with subtitles. Running time: 1 hour 44 minutes. in Theaters.