For its opening 15 minutes or so, director Moussa Toure's drama The Pirogue
delivers a much needed shot of invigoration, like a brace of cold mountain air. As Toure's camera swirls around two beefy Senegalese wrestlers grappling with one another in a pit of dirt, the film captures the rugged, sinewy physicality that lies before it. Aides intermittently shower the men's shaved heads with mysterious colorful fluids intended to refresh them, anoint them, or both -- we're never told which -- while enervated masses throng around the perimeters.
This is enthralling for the respite that it provides from regular Hollywood contrivance; not a moment feels formu...