TF1 is broadcasting the TV movie “Champion” tonight, in which singer Kendji Girac takes his first steps as an actor. He embodies the role of Zack, a young man suffering from illiteracy whose life is about to change. Is it worth a look?
WHAT IS IT ABOUT ?
At 24, Zack looks like a young man who feels good about himself. His secret is well kept. A talented carpenter, he built cabins perched in the trees with his father. But his passion is boxing, which he teaches on a voluntary basis.
Zack plans to move in with Marjorie when his father takes a bad fall and falls into a coma. All alone, he must now take care of the small family business. The shortcomings he thought he had overcome resurface, and as a newcomer, Inès, enters his life, his secret risks being revealed at any moment: Zack is illiterate.
Monday, September 5 at 9:10 p.m. on TF1, and already available on Salto.
WHO IS IT WITH?
For the first time, viewers find Kendji Girac on TF1, not in a variety show, but in a TV movie in which he lends his features to the character of Zack. The singer discovered in 2014 in The Voice launches into comedy with Champion while carrying a theme close to his heart: illiteracy.
At his side, you will find well-known actors from the small screen and in particular from the front page like the flagship actress of the soap opera Here it all starts Aurelie Pons who plays Marjorie, Zack’s girlfriend. But also Jean-Michel Tiniveli (Alice Nevers, Simon Coleman), who plays Freddie, the owner of the boxing club in which the young man gives lessons to women and children.
Two other young actors who appeared on the channel are in the casting. This is’Hanane El Yousfiseen in the third season of red wristbands and currently in the miniseries Endless Night on Netflix, which plays Inès, a sweet and bright young woman whom Zack will fall in love with. As for his little brother, he is played by Keanu Peyranknown for his role as Pablo (Adrian’s son) in the series Clem.
Finally, to interpret Zack’s parents, the director Mona Achache (Balthazar, HPI, The Women and the Assassin) turned to Francois Creton (gears, The Heroics) and Lubna Azabal (Robbers, rebel).
WELL WORTH A LOOK ?
With its latest singles, TF1 gives well-known personalities the opportunity to get into comedy. After Theo Curin and Alessandra Sublet in Handigang, the channel offers this time to discover the singer Kendji Girac in a new area. If the announcement of his participation in this TV movie may have raised some concerns, the artist strongly demonstrates his legitimacy in the role of Zack.
Indeed, Kendji Girac has been preparing for a long time and it really shows. Boxing lessons, mass gain or hair change, the young man has stopped at nothing to embody the character with the greatest accuracy. Apart from the physical preparation, the actor is really surprising from the first minutes of the TV movie and we even forget that this is his first role. A feat that not everyone can boast about.
In Champion, the singer brings to the fore the theme of illiteracy which is particularly close to his heart. Moreover, he is not afraid to talk about the difficulties he himself encountered several years ago, especially in the field of reading. In the end, this role is almost tailor-made for him, but don’t get me wrong, Zack is not a romanticized version of his interpreter.
With this TV movie, we literally dive into the life of a young man who suffers in silence from his illiteracy. Every detail has been carefully thought out since when Zack tries to read, whether it’s road signs or messages on his phone, the letters are reversed on the screen. If the character is unable to read, it is also the case of the viewer who is in total immersion.
If Zack had managed to hide his illiteracy until now from his parents and loved ones, his father’s work accident suddenly took him out of his comfort zone. Finding himself all alone to run the family business, he is faced with incessant messages and emails from customers to which he is unable to respond.
On the one hand, his family business is in a critical situation and on the other, his personal life is turned upside down by the worrying state of his father and his oppressive girlfriend who will not fail to irritate more than one. The accumulation of all these difficulties and responsibilities increases the pressure until the inevitable explosion of the character.
Throughout the TV movie, Mona Achache, the director, brilliantly develops a touching and moving story about a social phenomenon unfortunately passed over in silence, while not falling into pathos. Indeed, despite the painful trials he has to face, Zack sees the light thanks to Inès, a wonderful young woman who practically raises her little brother Alexandre on her own.
If Champion is centered on illiteracy, he also approaches with a certain finesse subjects such as cancer or even the unspoken in the family sphere. And to conclude, the film delivers a powerful message of hope to people suffering from disability and illness: we are all champions.
As a reminder: more than 7% of the adult population, aged 18 to 65, having been educated in France is in a situation of illiteracy. i.e. 2.5 million people in mainland France in 2018 According to the National Agency for the Fight against Illiteracy. These figures show the need to broadcast a TV movie on this subject as a bonus on one of the most watched channels in Europe.