Interview With Vikash Dhorasoo & Fred Poulet

English: Vikash Dhorasoo arriving at the Parc ...

In his playing days, Vikash Dhorasoo was never one to follow the crowd. As comfortable reading Jonathan Coe or listening to Belle & Sebastian as he was dribbling through midfield for Lyon, Paris Saint-Germain and France, his venture into cinema was hardly likely to produce Escape To Victory 2. And it didn’t.

Made in collaboration with his friend, director Fred Poulet, Substitute chronicles Dhorasoo’s role as a barely-used squad member in France’s run to the 2006 World Cup final. Recorded in analogue on a hand-held Super-8, the film’s constant soundtrack is the whirr of the camera, accentuating the extraordinary intimacy that Substitute creates. In an era that presents every nuance and contour of the football landscape in airbrushed, HD glory, Substitute is a fascinating and unpolished peek backstage.

As the film develops, we see him sink further and further into a black mood, alone in his room on the periphery of the frenzy of excitement, feeling betrayed at being overlooked by coach Raymond Domenech, the man who gave him his first call-up for France Under-21s in 1994. Continue…

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