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Alain Delon reverts to gangster type to rescue his son from a miscarriage of justice

6/10
Author: msroz from United States
16 July 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This Jose Giovanni-Alain Delon vehicle lifts off but really fails to achieve much of an orbit, even with the presence of Charles Vanel. The story has elements that should combine to make it very good, but they combine to make something fairly flat. The deficit owes to Jose Giovanni's story and direction. The result is an average film, a good outing for Delon and his fans, but nothing that really stands out. Delon is very good, as always.

I did not like the ambiguous ending. The film should have been bolder in its statements. It's saying that justice in France is tainted by left-wing judges (prosecutors) who have class biases and also by their bowing too greatly to popular pressures of the day rather than attending to justice. In addition, press accounts bias the system and bias the affected parties to a crime from achieving reconciliation. It's all in the movie and yet somehow these themes do not connect as well as they should to what the characters are shown to be experiencing.

The story revolves around an accidental homicide of a policeman committed by Delon's son (Louis Julien). Delon is a rich and successful businessman who has overcome a gangster past. Delon brings in Charles Vanel as one of his lawyers, but his role isn't meaty enough to catch fire. The judge in the case, Christian de Tillière, is clearly biased in his confrontations with Delon. The public wants blood, the boy's life. Consequently, Delon reverts to his gangster past and engineers a jail break and escape. His reversion doesn't achieve our sympathy, however, and it is more talked about by Vanel than shown through Delon. Sympathy for his son is also not built up.

To make a bolder statement, the movie needed a bold ending in which father and son are killed across the Italian frontier by over-zealous French police. But that then would have required some sort of headline wrapup in which the police get off. With such an ending, the rest of the movie could have been strengthened to be critical of the justice system. The crime of the boy might have been shown more clearly to have been accidental. Delon's frustrations could have been built up, and it would all lead to an ending consistent with the movie's themes. Instead, we have an ambiguous ending preceded by too much vagueness.

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4 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Justice is unfair...

4/10
Author: dbdumonteil
17 May 2007

...to the Rich.That might be the obnoxious moral of this Jose Giovanni film.The director was more inspired when he directed Delon in "Deux Hommes Dans la Ville" ,which was a strong plea against death penalty or even later in "Mon Père ..Il M'a sauvé La Vie" A former gangster (Delon) is on the right track again.He has become a wealthy man.Unfortunately,his beloved son kills a cop .And the judge has no pity on the poor rich kid.The father will sacrifice everything he 's got to save him.Even Suzanne Flon,cast as the policeman's widow cannot, save the flick.Besides ,slow motions which were trendy in the FRench cinema of the seventies are almost unbearable.

Get "Deux Hommes Dans la Ville" instead.

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