Bad Seeds (Mauvaises herbes) is a charming and delightful French film. Bad Seeds (Mauvaises herbes) was written by, directed by, and stars Kheiron. Catherine Deneuve adds to the pleasure.
Monique (Deneuve) and Wael (Kheiron) run a minor scam stealing grocery carts full of food to take home for dinner. Their next potential mark turns out to be Victor (André Dussollier). Monique knew Victor way back when and can’t bear to rob him.
Victor discovers what they are up to. He doesn’t want to report them. He wants Wael to be a teacher for a day with a group of troubled kids. He runs a school and he just lost his teacher. He wants Monique to be his secretary for a day. It’s a deal.
Wael doesn’t know anything about teaching, but he knows a lot of about being a troubled kid. We get his story in flashbacks. It’s a grim one. His only friend was a nun who became like a mother to him. Monique seems to have been the nun, but that isn’t stated explicitly.
When Wael walks into the classroom the next day he discovers a group of sullen teens who refuse to talk. He uses his charm and wits to pull them out of their shells.
We learn about some of the kids backgrounds and see them progress into interested learners under Wael’s unique and creative approach to education.
He stays more than one day. Of course. He might have found a girlfriend in the older sister of one of the students. Monique and Victor become an item.
Bad Seeds (Mauvaises herbes) isn’t a love story. It’s more about how to reach and teach young people who have problems in their lives. They are dealing with all kinds of issues, but Wael finds ways to reach them and help them.
I’ve seen so many movies and series about young people lately, it was a pure pleasure to watch Catherine Deneuve and André Dussollier in this film. Yes, it was mostly about young people, but #EldersRock!
Kheiron, who was responsible for everything about this film, deserves much credit for coming up with such a clever idea for a story and getting excellent performances from the young actors. The teens were played by Louison Blivet, Adil Dehbi, Hakou Benosmane, Youssouf Wague, Ouassima Zrouki, and Joseph Jovanovic. Even Aymane Wardane, who played the very young Wael, did a fine job.
I completely recommend this heartwarming film. Look for it on Netflix. It’s rated TV-MA, probably because of some scenes from Wael’s childhood. But I think it would be fine viewing for kids and teens.