Le Chant du Loup

Undersea sounds

Film. Immersed in the atmosphere of a nuclear submarine, Antonin Baudry’s first full-length movie is a nonstandard action film with an amazing casting.

By Tess Volet

Heartbeats, footsteps, body sounds, nothing escapes his attention… Chanteraide (François Civil seen in Dix pour Cent) is what we call in French a “Oreille d’Or” (in the army, someone working in a submarine and who’s in charge of listening the sounds coming from the outside). He’s working on a French submarine during a very serious diplomatic crisis. Antonin Baudry’s film (script written Quai D’Orsay by Bertrand Tavernier in 2013) immerses us in the daily life of the Titane’s crew, a nuclear war submarine commanded by D’Orsy (Omar Sy), and L’Effroyable, a ballistic missile submarine supervised by Grandchamp (Reda Kateb). Mathieu Kassovitz plays the admiral of the fleet, completing a five stars casting as unexpected as solid.

Un récit centré sur la quête des sons

Isolated from the rest of the world, the submariners have to choose: weapons carriers of nuclear deterrence by which humanity can destroy itself, they are also the only ones who can save humanity from this ultimate threat.

The story is focused on the quest of sounds: fin’s strokes, opening of the compartment door or the famous “Chant du Loup”: that is to say the sound of a sonar that locates the position of one’s submarine, which is the sign of the beginning of the end. Chanteraide’s face when he focuses on what he hears in his headset is the symbol of the pressure he feels and the importance of his role. And the music of the film (produced at the prestigious Skywalker Ranch) turns out to be a full character on its own. And emphasizes the great contrast between the vastness of seabed and the narrowness of gangways, in which characters are confined. Unlike Hollywood conventions (The Hunt for Red October, U-571…) and much more successful than the sorrowful Kurk (2017) directed by Thomas Vinterberg, Le Chant du Loup is a captivating, frightening and realistic movie. Let’s dive!