Underground (2020)

The story of Underground takes place in a mine near Val-d’Or, in Quebec, a male-dominated environment if there is one. Right from the start, the tension is there: there was an explosion in the mine, and we’re not sure everyone will make it out alive.

But first, we go back in time a little to see the events that preceded the tragedy. We follow Maxime (Joakim Gagnon), a young man who has everything but still can’t find happiness, burdened by the guilt of an accident that left his best-friend Julien (Théodore Pellerin) with severe and lasting injuries.

In typical male fashion, Maxime is having trouble expressing his feelings and fears. That’s actually the main focus of Underground, how masculinity often leaves men in pain.

Despite the serious subject matter, Dupuis’ precise and powerful writing (she also directs here) lightens the mood with welcomed touches of humour here and there. By the end of the movie, you’ll care deeply about this band of boys.

And when tragedy strikes, it just makes the events more painful.

With this second movie, Sophie Dupuis proves that Family First was no fluke, and that she is indeed one of our greatest current filmmakers. We also can’t overlook the stunning performance of James Hyndman, who is simply heartbreaking here.

Review by Pier-Luc Ouellet



Canadian connection

Written and directed by Sophie Dupuis
Val-d'Or, Québec
It’s not the first time that writer-director Sophie Dupuis and actor Théodore Pellerin have worked together; Pellerin’s breakout role was in Family First, Dupuis’ first movie.