Tahar Rahim plays Gary Manda, a factotum employed by a nuclear plant, who have lowered their standards in an effort to boost falling employment numbers. United by the daily threat of radiation, Gary quickly falls in with his co-workers; sleeping just off site in cabins, the close confines brings him into contact with Karole (Seydoux) and a lusty romance ensues despite her being engaged to man mountain Toni (Menochet).
t's the performances that grab. Tahar Rahim is one of the most charismatic actors working today. Willing to play complex characters whose moral compass is a little askew (The Prophet), or characters that are prepared to drift about in the background (Our Children, The Past), here Rahim is a mixture of the two. Gary isn't one to seize the day and never shows any remorse about the affair, and there's no conviction in his voice when he urges Seydoux to run away with him. Is love ever mentioned? He's an odd fish. Seydoux, in contrast to her fiery Emma in Blue Is The Warmest Colour, is content to keep out of the way of the story, haunted by the idea that her life will be either an unknown future with shifty Gary or mapped out with solid but worn Toni.
erformances aside, Grand Central just doesn't do enough to properly engage. The setting of the nuclear plant is rare and writer-director Rebecca Zlotowski (Belle Epine), collaborating again with Gaelle Mace, gladly shows us around. Initially content to revel in the day-to-day trappings of working in such a place, it's later, when they can't help but include an accident every time there's a scene there (to match the danger of the romance, see), that it just becomes another narrative tool.
ecent performances but it's all just a bit meh.