Bank robbery in small town ends with one of the robbers being wounded. The loot from the robbery is just a asset for the even more spectacular heist. Simon, gang leader and Paris night club... See full summary »
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Bank robbery in small town ends with one of the robbers being wounded. The loot from the robbery is just a asset for the even more spectacular heist. Simon, gang leader and Paris night club owner, must also deal with police comissaire Edouard Colemane, who happens to be his good friend. Written by
Dragan Antulov <firstname.lastname@example.org>
While Alain Delon's character, Commissaire Coleman, examines a crime scene, we see a brief shot of a wall on which are inscribed several names including the one of his character in one of his previous collaborations with Jean-Pierre Melville: Jef Costello, the "hero" of Le Samouraï (1967). See more »
Melville's Swan Song is a Dank, Steely Crime Thriller with a Dreamlike Serenity.
Un Flic, translated as A Cop, but rather known in English as Dirty Money, is essentially cool guy movie about man's men who are cops or robbers who smoke cigarettes, hang out in bars, do cool poses with guns and wear cool suits. But it is among the cream of that particular crop, and the reason is its stylistic subtlety and storytelling economy. It is not a feature-length music video like the Guy Ritchie films or an epic patchwork of references like those of Quentin Tarantino. It is utterly confident in its simplicity.
Plenty hold that master French crime filmmaker Jean-Pierre Melville had reached his pinnacle long before this, his last film, and he definitely did. But Un Flic plays exquisitely with all his signature muteness, austere faces and bleak colors. Cinematographer Walter Wottitz eschews gloomy soliloquies and melodramatic dialogue for his steely color treatment. What few colors that do breeze in appear to exhale from the poignant grays. The characters barely speak, most conspicuously during the movie's twenty-minute intrepid train robbery sequence in which the robber is dropped onto a moving train via helicopter, performs the robbery and gets back on. The film spotlights two strikingly constructed heists, the other one in a bank. The first is the hold-up of an isolated Riviera small-town seacoast bank. Melville painstakingly films the unlawful act, and how it goes awry when a ballsy teller declines to be robbed without a fight.
Melville's moody, idiosyncratic swan song is an ascetic inkling of the young though despondent, headstrong Paris police chief played by a volatile, willful Alain Delon, who is going after bank robbers and a drug-smuggling ring among his everyday quota of crimes to which he has grown apathetic. But these two crimes, as he discovers later on, are link and affect his personal life. The gang leader is indeed his counterpart, Richard Crenna, an underhanded nightclub owner he became acquainted with while having a prevalent liaison with his coldly gorgeous wife Catherine Deneuve. She shows no fervor for either of her lovers, the impervious ice queen. Crenna plays the civil competitor with played by Crenna with the chivalrous air of a frequenter of coffee shops and theatres. Deneuve plays her character as someone not interested in dividing her lovers by good and bad, but by charming or tedious. And Delon remains Melville's trademark tenacious individualist.
It's a dismally ambient film noir with Melville linking his characters to the quiet panorama around them, as it is set in a neon-lit moist city outlook of despairing crooks who are getting old and need one last score to go out with dignity. Police brutality is understood casually as a truth of life, as are double-crosses among thieves. The film is shot in minimalist style, with the dialogue and the sets being scant, but not rawboned. Melville was a man of simple tastes, but idealistic, zealous, philosophical tastes at that. Un Flic, or Dirty Money, held my engrossment all through with a feeling of a dreamlike serenity before the brewing outburst.
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