ATTENTION: as you continue reading you may come across spoiler are Tapie.
The catalog Netflix has been greatly embellished in recent days thanks to the release of the new French miniseries entitled The thousand quickly by Bernard Tapie (simply Tapie in original language). Created, written and directed by Tristan Séguéla (A night as a doctor) in collaboration with Olivier Demangel (November – The five days after the Bataclan) the miniseries consists of seven episodes, for a total of just over six hourswhich chronicle the rise and fall of Bernard Tapie (1943-2021), one of the most controversial French figures of the last twenty years of the 20th century.
“This series is freely inspired by real events. The facts narrated are known to the public. His circle, private life and dialogues are invented“: so it says at the beginning of the episode disclaimer very precise and clarifying. Almost as if the authors wanted to put their hands forward to avoid any controversy. Which is obviously impossible. The Tapie family, in fact, through the words of Dominique, the widow, and Stéphane, the son. has expressed all his disappointment with the production Netflix underlining how Bernard Tapie himself was against the staging of his life. “Tristan Séguéla took advantage of the forty-year friendship that bound him to our family to tell the story of my family in a completely arbitrary way”the words of Stéphane.
In any case, the widow Tapie was able to express words of praise towards Laurent Lafitte, former member of the very prestigious French comedy and interpreter of the protagonist: “I have to admit that Lafitte was really good at playing my husband. In some scenes the resemblance is truly striking“. But the praise stops there. The widow continues: “my character, however, is completely fictional. I am made out to be a businesswoman when in reality I have never had a say in my husband’s business“.
The writer was in Paris in the early nineties and remembers well how Bernard Tapie was talked about on every street corner. A self-made man, starting from nothing as the son of a simple boiler repairman and member of the most important and most representative left-wing trade union in France.
The writer remembers perfectly what was said about Tapie: a fraud of the worst kind or a genius, a visionary. From one extreme to the other.
This, in fact, is the point of view that the authors wanted to underline in the series: the continuous roller coaster to which Tapie subjected himself and his family, unable to accept having to remain at the same level as his parents.
Yet, in one of the most touching moments of the entire series, Tapie he confesses to his father that he has never been ashamed of his origins, of having always shown pride and pride towards his father, a worker, and his mother, a housewife. But he was unable to stand still because he was devoured by a worm that asked him for more and more, always more, always more.
The thousand quickly by Bernard Tapie it tells precisely about this inability, perceptible from the first minutes. Family and friends gather at his parents’ house to watch a program that should decree the success of a song. Tapie competes under the pseudonym Tapy and his song is acclaimed by the public and critics present in the broadcast. However, the look that the father gives to his son is full of disappointment, as if singing was not a profession capable of supporting a familyas if it show business it wasn’t a job.
In the next scene, some time has passed and we see Tapie get out of his car carrying with him a television that he would like to resell to have enough money to buy a suit with which to obtain financing from a bank. It seems that the song did not have the desired success. And so on. Tapie obtained financing (from a private individual, however) to open a household appliances shop but was then convicted and reduced to poverty. He understood the system by which he had been left broke (and deprived of his right to run businesses) and used it to his advantage to become the owner of a bindery. Then of a battery industry. Until creating an empire in which theAdidas it was the flagship.
Through the seven episodes the viewer follows the ups and downs of a simple proletarian who managed to become a business captain whose popularity led him to being summoned to the Elysée by the then president Mitterrand and convinced to become minister of urban policies.
The miniseries, however, does not only tell about his entrepreneurial and sporting successes, and his political, ethical and moral defeats. He also focuses a lot about his family relationshipsespecially the ones with the second wife, Dominique, played beautifully Joséphine Japy (Love at second sight) and those very conflictual with the father, played by Patrick d’Assumcao (Jeanne du Barry – The King’s favorite).
If the relationship with the first is solid in the good and bad luckdespite receiving broadsides from all sides, with the second there is a love Hate continuous which leads to a gesture that says a lot about what the blood bond is: in fact, it is the father who accompanies his son to prisonbecause he was convicted of corruption inaffair Valenciennes-Olympique Marsiglia.
Each of the seven episodes, covering thirty-five years, tells the story a significant event of what we could define as an odyssey made up of dazzling moments of glory and precipitous falls. A rather interesting formula that frees itself from the usual classic structure of the linear biographical story, creating a sort of slices of life similar to rings that chain together.
Even the care with which the France of those years is reconstructed is absolutely convincing despite never taking particular risks (as happens instead in the marvelous A Very Secret Service).
Il cast obviously it goes around Laurent Lafitte but the actors never appear as simple extras. Indeed, as Tapie’s excesses grow as the plot progresses the presence of the counterparts is necessary to create a sort of counterbalance useful to prevent the protagonist from exploding together with his ego (and the scene that takes place in the public prosecutor’s office which will condemn him to prison is emblematic of this).
The interpretation of Laurent Lafitte is overwhelming starting from the resemblance to the former French minister. Yet the actor manages to maintain a truly prodigious credibility even in his exaggerations, never giving the impression of playing a nice scoundrel which winks at the viewer.
The thousand quickly by Bernard Tapie And a really interesting series, done well, with criteria, capable of exciting and entertaining the viewer, especially if you don’t know the character. For those who know him, however it could leave the impression that they wanted to mythologiseand a controversial man capable of igniting a city, Marseille, and a nation, France, with the victory of a Champions League. A city that for this reason could have even elected him mayor without batting an eye.
In any case, in addition to entertaining, the miniseries is licensed Netflix it makes you think. It’s a lot. Because it unambiguously underlines the changing times and the adaptation to them of the common person capable of dreaming, even big, and who to realize herself she is willing to do anything. Really to everything.