The vastness of the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Syria offers no clue from the reflective waves on the surface as to what is beneath, the French submarine Titan gliding through the clear waters under the guidance of Captain Grandchamp, waiting to collect the members of a Special Forces unit operating ashore.
Running in ultra-quiet state to avoid detection, Acoustic Warfare Analyst Chanteraide listens to the waters, fearful of the wolf’s call, the broadcast wave of active sonar which indicates their presence is suspected, that hostile forces are actively seeking them, that their covert mission has been discovered and the rescue will have to be abandoned.
Nicknamed “golden ears” for his skill, Chanteraide is convinced they are not alone in the water, that there is another submarine operating in the waters, but his interpretation of the acoustic signature matches no known configuration; is he mistaken, losing his touch under the stress of the mission, or is there something silently tracking the Titan of which they have no intelligence?
The feature debut of writer/director Antonin Baudry, former Ambassador for French Culture at the Institut Français, The Wolf’s Call (Le Chant du loup) is a tense thriller of duty to country and loyalty to fellow, of sacrifice and tragedy set in the most unforgiving environment in perhaps the most dangerous of all the armed forces and a tribute to those who serve; when a submarine goes down, nobody comes back up.
Starring As Above, So Below‘s François Civil as Chanteraide, Lost River‘s Reda Kateb is Grandchamp, Days of Future Past‘s Omar Sy is the Titan‘s first officer D’Orsi and Valerian‘s Mathieu Kassovitz is the ALFOST, their superior in the Strategic Oceanic Force who promotes Grandchamp to the nuclear submarine Formidable despite the diplomatic fallout from the Syrian mission while Chanteraide is grounded following his obsessive pursuit of the mystery vessel.
The Titan and the Formidable majestic and terrifying in equal measure, with much of the action filmed on board real submarines and heavy on technical detail the underwater scenes of The Wolf’s Call are at times breathtaking. Focusing on the crew rather than overblown spectacle, there is barely a wasted minute in the near two-hour runtime, and while some of the events might seem far-fetched the evidence is that they are too close to current headlines, and in war there are no winners, only survivors.
The Wolf’s Call is available on DVD now from Altitude