CANAL + is launching season 2 of “Validated” on October 11. Does this new burst of episodes live up to the premiere?
In March 2020, Franck Gastambide created the event on Canal + with the first season of Validé. A true phenomenon, the series plunged us into the mysteries of a music industry as complex as it is unknown: that of French rap.
While season 1 had everyone agreed by recounting the tragic rise of young rapper Apash (Hatik), this new burst of episodes will follow the journey of Sara, a rap prodigy, who is trying to break into this environment without concession. An immersion as realistic and effective as ever, which should once again seduce the public.
It is true, however, that Franck Gastambide and his team of authors take a big risk by portraying the journey of a woman in the rap world. And if succeeding Apash was in any case an ambitious, not to say daring, bet, Lætitia Kerfa, the actress who plays Sara, nevertheless succeeded in meeting the challenge.
THE ORDINARY JOURNEY OF A WOMAN IN THE WORLD OF RAP
A year after Clément’s violent death, William (Saïdou Camara) and Brahim (Brahim Bouhlel) launched the Apash Music label to honor the memory of their friend. They then bet everything on Sara, a young rapper who will have to struggle to exist as a woman in the rap game while her troubled past resurfaces.
From the first episodes, the tone is set, “An average rapper will always sell more than a great rapper”. A punchline that sounds like a terrible observation and questions the place of women in the rap industry.
Even if her talent makes everyone agree, Sara will have to do a lot more to earn her legitimacy. Not an easy task in this oh so masculine environment. From then on, the scenes punches and twists are linked and take the viewer on board to the rhythm of low blows, threats and the most vile criticisms.
If we can blame the first episodes for a few lengths, they are ultimately necessary for the construction of the main character and to allow us to forge a link with this new heroine. But it is under the pseudo Alpha, the stage name she chose for herself, that Lætitia Kerfa is the most impressive.
Until then, rap had finally left little room for women. There was Diam’s of course but it is clear that female rappers still have great difficulty in occupying the front of the French scene. This is one of the tour de force of this second season to put a woman at the head of a series on rap while highlighting feminist issues without falling into a claiming speech despite some scriptwriting facilities. .
A SEASON ALWAYS AS EFFICIENT
New season, new theme. However, the ingredients that made Validé so successful are still there. On the menu battles, clashes, freestyles, power struggles, violence, all served by a supercharged production and a powerful soundtrack. Overall, the episodes are rhythmic and gripping with their share of twists and turns, especially the last two episodes which serve the purpose of the series admirably.
At the helm, Franck Gastambide has lost none of his talent, even managing to give more depth and complexity to his characters. On this subject, we can evoke William. Always against the grain, he more than ever embodies a striking contrast with this pitiless universe.
But the real surprise comes from Mastar, well served by the way by the performance of Moussa Mansaly, his interpreter. Artist at the top, this one will have to face his demons and wonder about his place in the rap game. Karnage (Bosh), meanwhile, upped the pressure a notch.
Fortunately, to counterbalance this ruthless universe, humor will not be outdone. While Brahim Bouhlel will make you laugh again, Fatoumata Kaba, who lends her features to Sara’s best friend, will have more than one punchline in her bag.
This new season should once again put everyone in agreement by immersing us a little more in the world of rap and also offering purists a myriad of guests.
Although it borrows the codes that have already made its success, the series continues to surprise us. Always so modern and daring, Franck Gastambide proves that he masters his subject through characters with extraordinary backgrounds.
For her very first role on television, Lætitia Kerfa offers a performance at the height of her character, as fragile as badass, which will find its climax in the last two episodes of the season.
If Validé II has undeniable qualities, we nevertheless regret some quick and cliché passages. The fault of a rhythm that is sometimes too removed which does not allow to deepen certain points that would have deserved more.
Let us wish Lætitia Kerfa to know the same fate as Hatik. In any case, we are already betting that it should be validated by viewers.