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Review: Mama Weed (La daronne)




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Review: Mama Weed (La daronne)
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Mama Weed (the mother) plays Isabelle Huppert as a woman who translates from Arabic into French for the police. When she accidentally gets her hands on tons of weed, her life takes a turn. This French comedy is on Prime Video. Mild spoilers are ahead.

Mama Weed (the mother) asks the audience to accept many unlikely circumstances and downright stereotypical characters. But Isabelle Huppert is so strong in this that she drags you into the story without hesitation.

The first act of the film introduces Patience (Isabelle Huppert). She has two grown daughters, a mother in a very expensive care home and is behind on all her bills. Her mother (Liliane Rovère) is about to be evicted from her beautiful home.

A worker who takes care of her mother, Kadidja (Farida Ouchani), is kind and her mother responds well to her. Patience doesn’t want her mother to lose her place and her kind helper Kadidja.

One of Patience’s translation jobs is to listen in on the conversations and phone calls between two crooks named Scotch and Cocoa Puffs. One day she hears Kadidja’s voice between these conversations. She talks to her son, who is about to drive a truckload of hashish into France. The police are already on the trail of this truck and Patience fears that Kadidja’s son will be arrested.

She calls Kadidja and warns her. Her son is hiding the weeds, so when he reaches his destination there is no proof. He was arrested anyway, but not on such serious charges.

Review: Mama Weed (La daronne)

Patience needs money. If she can find the weeds, she can sell it. A life of crime seems to be a solution to her problems. There is evidence that her father was a criminal and we see that her moral code is already flexible.

Patience adopts a drug dog who has retired from the police force. She finds the drugs and contacts Scotch (Rachid Guellaz) to sell the items.

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The drugs are packed in suitcase-sized blocks, which they deliver to Scotch one by one in hilarious places and ways. She often uses a taxi to transport the goods.

Isabelle Huppert in Mama Weed

She disguises herself in a headscarf and large sunglasses, but the agent Philippe (Hippolyte Girardot), who is both in love with her and chasing the drug dealers, recognizes her. What he does about it is what matters.

Isabelle Huppert and Nadja Nguyen in Mama Weed

Madame Fo (Nadja Nguyen), her landlady, becomes a willing partner in her crimes. When Patience’s mother no longer needs her, she leaves tons of drugs in Madame Fo’s basement. Patience has collected a suitcase full of money, which she keeps under her bed. That’s all she needs to survive.

The film is far-fetched but funny and Isabelle Huppert is very good at it. If you’ve seen it, let me know what you think.

The film is written by Hannelore Cayre, based on her own novel.

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