Les Faux Tatouages
True North | True North
In this perceptively observed and quietly poignant coming-of-age romance from Quebec, punk music connoisseurs and wannabe rebels Théo (Anthony Therrien) and Mag (Rose-Marie Perreault) first meet at a diner after a nearby head-banging concert. Mag, well-acquainted with the markings of fake tattoos because of her hyperactive five-year-old sister, calls out the meticulous forgery staining Théo’s bicep. "Is it done with Sharpie?" she inquires, only half sincerely. A few sighs and grumbles later, he divulges his secret: it’s not ink from a Sharpie, but his mom’s eyeliner (which sticks better). Over Théo’s three remaining weeks in suburban Quebec before a scheduled move, these two estranged and self-conscious teens expose nuances of their personality they’d previously kept hidden.
First-time feature filmmaker Pascal Plante has crafted a distinct variation on what is often an all-too-familiar premise. Tattoos, valuing character over plot and emotional subtext over ham-fisted exposition, has a dexterous and restrained approach bound up with a great deal of wisdom. Plante has achieved what great filmmakers set out to accomplish: effortlessly imprinting characters and their anxieties on our memory through a percolating empathy.