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L'Air De Paris is a French film directed by a well known French director who in his day was apparently responsible for some brilliant pieces of French cinema. Now I have very little knowledge in French cinema and am truly unaware of what brilliant French cinema is. I have to say this film is certainly not it.
The film is about an ageing boxing coach who is considering giving it all up as he struggles to find the champion he longs to train. His hope completely vanishes when his best chance dies at a young age. However he meets a man who claims to once have been a good boxer and the coach decides that perhaps there is one last ray of light.
He trains up this young man but he is not particularly great at the sport and our trainer realises he has his work cut out. Meanwhile part of the reason for this boxers struggle is because he is in love with a beautiful woman. One who is out of his league and is of a much superior class. The coach must convince his boxer that boxing should come first and love can't stand in the way.
Our boxer makes it as champion but in this time his love for the woman has grown and he refuses to take part in any more events as he wants to be with this woman. The trainer must do what he can to change his student's mind, claiming that it was a woman that ruined his chance when he was a boxer and he doesn't want to see this man's potential slip away in the same way his did.
Straight away I had an issue with this film. The coach deciding to take this man on without looking at how good he is and without asking for any money is ridiculous and then when he steps into the ring he is shocked to see how bad he is. Well if he had watched him first he would have realised this. In reality an established boxing coach would at least do some research; it just seemed far too easy to be able to move the film along. To me this man's boxing was bad, but as far as I know the director could have been intending on his style to be good. I just don't know. Put it this way Audley Harrison would knock this man down in one. When it comes to his title fight the match seems to be played out in real time and it is just so dull. It isn't boxing; it looks like two drunken louts having a scuffle in a car park. If you have ever seen some Charlie Chaplin films, the one's where he is boxing, then you can imagine what these fight scenes looked like.
There is also very little story for us to grasp a hold of. I'm still not sure if it is about the boxing or love and which one of the two's story we are following. I found myself not caring for either. So much of it seemed completely unrealistic. The boxing, the love, even the friendships. Nothing was put in place and nothing made any sense.
There were a few scenes I did like. In the opening five minutes there are a few witty comments that did have me laughing and a couple of scenes where the power shifted between the boxer and love interest were pleasant but overall there just wasn't enough in this film for me to get excited about. I will admit I wasn't expecting too much but after doing a little research on the director I thought that perhaps I could have been in for a bit of a surprise, I can tell you I wasn't.
I've not seen many French films and have not been a fan of the few I have. I am unsure as to whether this director made the ones I have seen but if he is one of the best in France then I won't be watching any more French films anytime soon. A poor effort.
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