“In therapy” by Toledano and Nakache: listening to the lives turned upside down by the attacks of November 13


A carmine red sofa, a library loaded with books. The windows in the room let in cold light and sometimes the noise of road traffic. It is in this setting, almost unique throughout the series, that the five patients who frequent the office of Doctor Philippe Dayan (Frédéric Pierrot) will parade. In the aftermath of the November 2015 attacks in Paris and Seine-Saint-Denis, everyone will share their stories. Five individual stories, like five fragments of a French society in shock.

Serialvores will recognize the pitch of the Israeli series BeTipul, adapted in twenty countries and in particular in the United States (In Treatment). Today she arrives in France under the name ofIn therapy, worn by the duo of filmmakers Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano. The directors of the hit film Untouchables sign their first series, a touching and sensitive story about life and its torments.

While BeTipul took place in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, In therapy opens in the aftermath of the November 2015 attacks. “We felt that we all had a shared need for dialogue and listening. In this context, the project took on a whole new meaning, it almost became a necessity “, explains Eric Toledano in a press release.

On Philippe Dayan’s couch we find successively Ariane (Mélanie Thierry, very moving) a surgeon stationed on the evening of the attacks, Adel (Reda Kateb), a BRI agent traumatized by his intervention at the Bataclan, Camille (Céleste Brunnquell), a teenager who comes to consult after a road accident, as well as Léonora and Damien, a couple who are torn apart (Clémence Poésy and Pio Marmaï). A five-star cast. Those who have seen the original, BeTipul, will find in substance the same characters and narrative arcs.

Clémence Poésy is Léonora in "In therapy" by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano (Les Films du Poisson)

Each episode represents a meeting of the week, from Monday to Friday. This last day, Philippe sits himself on the couch when he confides in Esther (Carole Bouquet), his controller. The viewer follows each protagonist for seven weeks. The episodes will be broadcast five per week on the Arte channel from February 4. But they are also available in full on the arte.tv platform (from January 28), allowing a second reading mode: character by character.

Not all of their stories have direct links to the attacks. But for psychotherapist Philippe Dayan, this ordeal had an impact at the collective level, when “everything that advanced articulated began to creak“while the world is “fell in dread and confusion“The shrink himself is in crisis: his personal life is falling apart, to the point of fearing that this will impact the therapies of his patients.

The staging is minimalist. Each episode is presented as a face-to-face. On the one hand the psychoanalyst in his armchair, on the other the patient or patients on the couch. In reverse-shot, the camera passes over the face of one or the other according to the dialogues. You could almost say that on the screen, “nothing” is happening. However, we are hooked from the start, thanks to the quality of the writing and the playing. A quality that we notice in particular in the young Céleste Brunnquell, who, in the skin of a Camille sometimes mischievous sometimes in tears, is overwhelming.

Céleste Brunnquell is Camille and Frédéric Pierrot is Philippe Dayan in the series "In therapy" by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache (Les Films du Poisson)

We get to know each character well, even to appreciate them, with their faults, their anger. Despite a short format (20 to 30 minutes per episode), In therapy takes his time and is not afraid of silences. Nor of detours taken before the suffering of patients can be expressed. This is sometimes difficult to listen to. In the end, we are more drawn into the monologues in which the patients get lost than by the psychoanalytic explanations that Philippe sends them back. This is perhaps because through their stories, from childhood wounds to the pangs of adult life, we sometimes find a little piece of ourselves.

Creators: Eric Toledano, Olivier Nakache, Laetitia Gonzalez, Yaël Fogiel
Genre: Drama
Actors: Frédéric Pierrot, Carole Bouquet, Mélanie Thierry, Clémence Poésy, Pio Marmaï, Reda Kateb, Céleste Brunnquell
Country: France
Duration: 35 x 25 min
Release: January 28, 2021 / February 4 on the channel
Platform: Arte.tv

Synopsis: Paris, autumn 2015. Philippe Dayan receives every week in his office a stone’s throw from the Place de la République, a surgeon in complete disarray in love, a couple in crisis, a teenager with suicidal tendencies and a BRI agent traumatized by his intervention at the Bataclan. Listening to these disrupted lives, the emotional earthquake that is triggered in him is unprecedented. To try to escape it, he reconnects with his former analyst, Esther, with whom he had cut ties for nearly 12 years.

Adaptation of the Israeli series “Be’Tipul” by Hagai Levi, Nir Bergman and Ori Sivan.

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