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Police
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Reviews & Ratings for
Police More at IMDbPro »

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23 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Underrated Film

10/10
Author: dusted1 (sotol99@inetarena.com) from Portland, OR
15 July 2001

The French make some very fine films. They also make some really pretentious stinkers. This is of the former variety.

A very well acted and directed film. The seediness of the criminals, prostitutes, the lawyer, and the cops is very well portrayed. You do need a scorecard to tell the good guys from the bad guys in this flick. Which would appear to be exactly the response that the director, Maurice Pialat, wishes to elicit.

Sophie Marceau does a fine job portraying the beautiful but ethically and morally empty Noria. It's very evident that she's using Depardieu's character to achieve her own ends. However, Depardieu knows it too, but cannot help himself.

It's Depardieu's movie and he plays his character perfectly. A combination of arrogance, brutality, macho, humor, and vulnerability. You come to realize that for all of his violence, groping women, and swagger that on some level he is a lost innocent. In one scene where he and Noria are in a car making out, he comments that they're acting like a couple of kids. Noria responds something to the effect that that's exactly why it's so good.

The final scene is played out perfectly by the two main characters. Depardieu is perfect in portraying both anger and vulnerability. The viewer is left with a view of the tough guy left broken hearted by the beautiful but empty hearted girl. The movie is about the basic human tragedy and the grave error of living only for one's own appetites.

Very good movie. It gives the initial impression of only being a tough, French cop film. But it's really a morality play which is done in such an artful manner that you barely notice until the ending. It's also very romantic--if only in a failed sense. It appears to me to make the point that love can only live where there is honesty and a willingness to be open and vulnerable. Hence, it's inevitable death in the sordid world of the "Police".

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16 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Great, great, film.

10/10
Author: (mstrschld@yourinter.net) from mstrschld@juno.com
1 September 1999

I don't think anybody can make films like the French. Let's all go to France and watch films. Maurice Pialat has put something together here that's like a religious experience. At the end a soaring modern aria comes on and right there in the first few notes you realize he really did trick us - it wasn't about money, lust and war but life and the common tragedy. This is a film I first saw on video about 7 years ago. It blew my mind then. Warhol had come to mind, because of the overall affectless tone, the plodding rhythm. I had found it in our local supermarket then and again last week, up for sale $3.50. No way I was going to miss it - I had blabbed about it to too many people thru the years. But I procrastinated looking at it, expecting it to be boring. I couldn't really remember much besides its tone. The schedule cleared, though, and equipped with a serious remote I chopped my way through slowly, back over the subtitles again and again catching it all. A knockout.

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Another underrated movie that's worth checking out....

Author: Murder Slim (MurderSlimPress@aol.com) from United Kingdom
19 December 2010

Maurice Pialat's POLICE begins with an extensive interrogation by a cop... played by Gerard Depardieu. The shots almost exclusively flick back and forth in medium shot. To begin with, the criminal is defiant. But over the course of almost 10 minutes, he's slowly broken down into a confession. It's a fascinating scene to watch... and although it's not recreated directly throughout the rest of the movie (10 minute scenes with two shots would get tiresome quickly...), the mood of the opening scene permeates through the whole of POLICE. The movie is a slow breakdown of the facade people build around themselves.

Much of the dialogue seems improvised. Characters stumble over words, and get caught in seemingly unrelated conversations. The "Masters of Cinema" extras DVD catches Pialat berating actors on set... trying to pull something out of the improvisation. He was apparently a real pain to work for, but the end result seems to work in POLICE.

Depardieu is the centre of attention, playing the slightly shonky cop, Louis. He's hulking in size, 6ft tall and a pretty wide load, often towering over the bad guys and dwarfing the various girls he flirts with. At times, Louis is almost comedic, grabbing every ass around him. He thinks he's a whizz with the ladies and the greatest cop around... and because he throws his weight into it all, people believe him.

The depth of POLICE is we see Louis behind the charade, progressively doubting himself. He's falling in love with one of his suspects, Noria (played by Sophie Marceau, who ended up sinking into being a Bond girl in THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH) and it's eating away at him. He's bending more rules than ever, and getting unnecessarily interested in a girl whose own family don't trust her. Louis becomes frantic, reaching out for prostitutes, drink and - eventually - frantically humping Noria in the Police HQ.

The strength of the movie - and whether you'll like it or not - revolves around Louis. He's very irritating at the start of the movie... a letch, an idiot, someone searching for reactions from people. He's sleazy and seemingly irremediable. Yet, at the movie goes on and as his vulnerabilities creep through, he becomes strangely likable. Can he trust Noria? Is she leading him on to save herself, or is she as lost as he is? So many films have predictable relationships but this one is a good 'un. We neither trust Noria or Louis, yet we feel sympathetic towards both of them. This all leads to a real doozy of an ending - and a thought provoking one too.

POLICE isn't a quick watch. It lacks dynamic scenes, and it's only for those who can take constant dialogue. It's also not a movie laden with style. But when close-ups are used, they're used to great effect. Louis's confused big-nosed mug... Noria's seemingly flawless good looks... something's going on behind those surfaces. You may gripe at the movie needing to be shorter and tighter, but it'll leave an impact because of these two fascinating characters. And, for that reason, it's well worth getting hold of a copy of POLICE.

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

An objective appraisal of African Muslim community.

8/10
Author: FilmCriticLalitRao from Paris, France
27 March 2003

Police is an objective appraisal of African Muslim community wherein Pialat takes us on a fantastic tour of Parisian drug dealing activities.He has vibrantly portrayed Arab world from an evenhanded French perspective by depicting individuals caught in a vortex of social context.All its characters are so vulnerable that even the slightest fantasy pays a heavy price.Pialat has acquired laudable brilliance from his leading players.Depardieu is exceptionally brilliant in his role as Inspector Mangin.Sophie Marceau is equally impressive in her role as compulsive liar Noria.She has incarnated her role with noteworthy aplomb.Police is a solemn chronicle about the interminable combat involving corrupt people on the one hand and an honest police officer like Mangin on the other hand.Police differs from other films of thriller genre by laying a good deal of emphasis on its protagonists' frame of mind.

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Pialat's only polar

8/10
Author: Bob Taylor (bob998@sympatico.ca) from Canada
31 March 2006

This is the one attempt that Pialat made to do a police procedural film. The story is told of how he got Depardieu and Marceau, the two biggest stars at the time, to commit to the project, then realized he had no script. He dispatched Catherine Breillat, she of the steamy soft-core classics, to spend her nights in Belleville soaking up the atmosphere of Arab drug gangs and write a script. Of course, he hated it... But why go on. Pialat's films are such a triumph of will over circumstances (his own failings) that it is useless to analyze the making of them.

He has got Depardieu to play a detective, but somehow the character flows naturally out of Loulou, made five years previously. There is the same wildness, the same physicality, the same need to take risks. When the detectives, the hooker, the lawyer and Noria are all in the nightclub together, they are all risking something but they don't care much. The plot turns on a cache of drug money found in Noria's apartment, but that is just a convenience for the viewer; Pialat has a need to show us people under pressure, getting beaten, getting shot, spending time in prison and so forth.

Reality intrudes on fiction: Frank Karaoui--who has several scenes as a restaurant owner and drug dealer--was convicted of dealing in real life.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Flawed film anchored by one of Depardieu's best ever performances

6/10
Author: tomgillespie2002 from United Kingdom
29 June 2014

French director Maurice Pialat mixes his usual approach of dialogue- heavy improvisation and his own slightly twisted sense of 'realism' with the police procedural genre. Anchoring Police is the formidable Gerard Depardieu playing Inspector Mangin, a chunky pitbull of a man who mixes charm, playfulness and violence together as he plays his way through the crime-fighting game with equal amounts of efficiency and carelessness. Pialat's camera, loose and restless, seems fascinated by him, and Depardieu's performance devours the film, overshadowing the director's themes of loneliness and criminality in France.

The first two-thirds of Police are it's best, as Mangin is caught up investigating a bunch of Tunisian drug-dealing criminals, and has his eye caught by the doe-eyed and beautiful Noria (Sophie Marceau), the girlfriend of one of the chief suspects. It's in these early scenes that Mangin is off the leash, slamming suspects heads into tables as a manner of interrogation, and, outside of work, joking with his friend Lambert (Richard Anconina), the criminal lawyer for most of the scumbags that Mangin puts away. Lambert is good at what he does, and most of his clients get off, yet he and Mangin laugh and joke about the system. It's all just a game to Mangin, something for him to do in order to satisfy his many appetites, as the line between the police and criminals is blurred.

Then Police settles down somewhat, as Noria turns from frightened innocent to fully-fledged femme fatale. She gets herself involved in a stolen wad of cash, and suddenly no-one is safe. Mangin is slowly revealed to be a lonely widower, and the film loses it's momentum. The fast dialogue and the murky world of pushers, pimps and prostitutes fades in favour of long takes in empty rooms, and Mangin suddenly isn't as interesting as he was. Sometimes it's better to prolong the mystery, to keep a character's motivations skewed. But Police is still a great ride, featuring one of Depardieu's best ever performances.

www.the-wrath-of-blog.blogspot.com

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Kind of slow going but ultimately worth it

Author: lazarillo from Denver, Colorado and Santiago, Chile
19 January 2014

This definitely isn't the most exciting movie about law enforcement (it took me three tries to finish it because I kept falling asleep). Instead of car chases and shoot-outs it contains a lot of dialogue (some obviously improvised) and focuses mostly on the relationships between the various interesting characters. It is a kind of a police procedural, but even there it focuses on the more mundane aspects of police work that the much more famous Hollywood(and slightly more famous Italian) cop movies tend to skip over.

The whole thing wouldn't work though if it weren't for the acting. Gerard Depardieu plays one of his sympathetic anti-heroes, the kind of guy you really shouldn't like, but eventually really do. Even though she was only about 18 at the time, Sophie Marceau manages to hold her own against the great Depardieu as a potential femme fatale who is mixed up with the Tunisian drug dealers he is trying to bust. It's well known that Marceau is a "Bond girl", but it's not often mentioned that (with the possible exception of Eva Green) she's also the most TALENTED of all the "Bond girls". I was impressed with Sandrine Bonnaire for another reason. I knew she was a formidable actress from Claude Chabrol's "L'Initiation", but I had no idea how cute and sexy she was in her younger years. She has a much smaller role as a 19-year-old prostitute Depardieu's character picks up, but she handles the requisite French-movie full-frontal nude scenes both Depardieu and Marceau uncharacteristically fore-go.

The crime story here is interesting too in that both the Tunisian criminals and the cops are obviously flawed, but not unsympathetic characters. (You kind of don't want anybody to win or lose).This is kind of a slow-going flick, but ultimately it is worth it.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Pialat mark

Author: Armand from Romania
20 May 2014

at first sigh, a confuse/chaotic story. because the title seems be a trap.at the second, a love one. in fact, only one of Pialat demonstrations about the frame of an universe. realistic in so measure than it becomes bitter. cruel and delicate. a film out of precise genre who explores the interest for two real good actors and for a puzzle story. it is a love story in same measure as fear story. because the element who defines it is the search of axis for lead characters life. and Sophie Marceau/Gerard Depardieu are the best interpreters for create the web of an impossible relation and for suggest the map of a world.

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