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Starring: Laurence Rupp, Ursina Lardi, Olivia Goschler, Kyra Kraus, Tamaki Uchida, Dominik Warta

Director(s): Daniel Hoesl, Julia Niemann


In this social satire, directors Daniel Hoesl and Julia Niemann push the rich’s untouchability to an extreme, revealing the consequences of an unchecked system and the dangers of a world where people are not accountable for their actions. The Maynards cannot be stopped, not by another man’s word, or journalistic evidence, or even the law. Now there’s only freedom: without limits and impossibilities, no matter the violence. Those with wealth are free to do as they please, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. The Machiavellian family study allows the rich to be as fearsome and violent as they pretend to be kind and giving.

Written By Darren Zakus

Rating: 2 out of 5

Veni Vidi Vici has a winning trio of lead performances that create the despicable characters the film attempts to take down, but an unfocused screenplay ultimately buries the satirical approach and commentary on the incredibly wealthy and their privilege that this film needed to succeed.

Social satires have been on the rise lately with popular films such as Parasite and Triangle of Sadness as audiences have gotten great laughter out of seeing the absurdity and privilege of the upper elite class, with a twisted joy derived from their torture and downfall. It's in this vein that writer and director Daniel Hoesl and his co-director partner Julia Niemann approach a billionaire family in their latest film. The title, meaning “a swift, conclusive victory,” definitely has the right elements to provide a biting commentary and takedown of this incredibly wealthy family who can literally get away with murder without consequence due to their privilege, but the film takes a major misstep with its focus. While the Maynard family is ripe for a scathing takedown, Hoesl’s screenplay favours supporting characters too often. It gets too lost in the supporting characters’ stories that it forgets how much the audience wants to hate the Maynard family and their privilege, ultimately diminishing the effect of the screenplay’s commentary on the Maynard family. Sure, there are some great black comedy moments where everyone else is arrested for murder but Amon Maynard who is committing them and is widely known to be doing so, notably with the film’s opening and closing hunting scenes which set a chilling tone for the film. But overall, the screenplay misses the mark of what it set out to achieve. It delivers the conclusive victory for the Maynard family that the title suggests, which will no doubt disgust viewers and generate the desired feelings toward the upper elite class, but it does not do so swiftly or in an intriguing manner.

What carries the film is the performances, as the casting of the Maynard family members is great. Laurence Rupp is perfect as Amon Maynard with his calm personality that brings a chilling and terrifying quality to Amon as his privilege and twisted hobby goes unchecked throughout the film. Olivia Goschler provides the film with strong narration as Paula Maynard, the eldest daughter of the Maynard family, while wearing her character’s privilege as a badge of honour and a hall pass to do whatever she desires. Rounding out the Maynard family is Ursina Lardi as Amon’s wife Viktoria, and there is no denying that she brings a sweetness to the film as she tries to hide her character’s privilege under the guise that she is kind and giving, which makes her a perfect match opposite Rupp. With these three performances and the wonderful family dynamic they create between their characters, the film is in capable hands even if the screenplay is not able to focus on the character study it wants to create.

There is no denying that there is substance to Veni Vidi Vici that could have created an entertaining and scathing commentary on the elite upper class and their privilege as you can see what Daniel Hoesl was aiming for with his screenplay with the ideas that are explored. But despite a great cast to bring to life the despicable Maynard family, the screenplay gets lost in the weeds as it focuses on side characters rather than the Maynard family, which ultimately fails to evoke the intended reaction from viewers. Even with excellent performances from Laurence Rupp, Olivia Goschler and Ursina Lardi, Veni Vidi Vici stumbles in its scathing commentary on the Maynard family as it loses sight of the characters it should be focusing on, creating a rather disappointing film that could have been something truly wonderful.

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