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See How They Fall (1994)
"Regarde les hommes tomber" (original title)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 638 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 2 critic

Simon is a sales representative about fifty. When Mickey, his cop friend, is being shot, he leaves everything to find the murderers. Two years before, Marx, an old gambler, met Frederic, a ... See full summary »

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Title: See How They Fall (1994)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Marx
Jean Yanne ...
Simon
...
Johnny
Bulle Ogier ...
Louise
Christine Pascal ...
Sandrine
...
Mickey
Yves Verhoeven ...
Homosexual
Marc Citti ...
Informer
Roger Mollien ...
Marlon
Pierre Guillemin ...
Mr. Vernoux
Philippe du Janerand ...
Merlin
Rywka Wajsbrot ...
Mme Rajenski
Blats ...
Donata
Laurence Bienvenu ...
Nurse
François Toumarkine ...
Hired man #1
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Storyline

Simon is a sales representative about fifty. When Mickey, his cop friend, is being shot, he leaves everything to find the murderers. Two years before, Marx, an old gambler, met Frederic, a young man that does not look very smart and started to follow him everywhere (as a puppy) and changed his name to Johnny to please Marx. Of course, Simon's story is related with Marx and Johnny's one. But the thriller is only a pretext for a psychological description of the three main characters. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Release Date:

31 August 1994 (France)  »

Also Known As:

See How They Fall  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Mediocre first effort from Audiard.
3 March 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As a massive fan of Jacques Audiard's work in the past decade, I was eager to check out his first directorial effort, See How They Fall. It wasn't a bad film by any means, but I have to admit I was disappointed. Co-written with his frequent collaborator Alain Le Henry, based on a novel by Teri White, it tells the story of Simon (Jean Yanne), a business-card salesman who hunts down the men that shoot his cop friend Mickey. It's a far-fetched concept, this mild-mannered schlub suddenly deciding to become a pulp investigator, but the black comedy tone that Audiard gives the film make it so that a stretch of the imagination isn't hard for the audience to conjure up.

Still, the story splits it's time between Simon and the homeless wandering duo of Marx and Johnny (Jean-Louis Trintignant and Mathieu Kassovitz), which is one of the few mistakes that it makes. There's a lack of balance in how compelling these men are, and whenever we were spending time with Simon I found myself just wanting to see more of Marx and Johnny. The two of them set up an interesting dynamic, with Marx being the grizzled old drifter who just wants to be alone and is only looking out for himself, while Johnny is the dim-witted lad with a heart of gold who takes a shine to Marx and will do anything for him. That relationship should have been the focal point of the film, but instead we spend the majority of our time with Simon on trying to track them down, a journey that isn't particularly engaging or memorable.

Audiard has worked in the crime genre for his entire career, but in the past decade with the films Read My Lips, The Beat That My Heart Skipped and A Prophet, he has evolved the field in a way that few others have done before. He's orchestrated fully realized worlds around deep, complex characters who walk a fine line of moral ambiguity, all conducted with his key eye for a gripping aesthetic style. See How They Fall isn't a bad film, but it's stripped of all the things that make Audiard one of the best filmmakers we have in modern cinema. The characters are quite thin for the large majority of the picture, only getting slight hints towards more layers but never being full developed, and the film is stylistically flat, despite it's best efforts. It doesn't have emotional resonance of Read My Lips, the thematic power of The Beat That My Heart Skipped or the scope of A Prophet.

There's an attempt to give it the kind of whip-flash editing structure that a lot of these independent crime films were accustomed to in the '90s, but it never really lands as strongly as some of them were able to accomplish. It's a fun little movie, with fine acting by the young Kassovitz and the veteran Trintignant, but overall there really isn't anything to set it apart and leave an impression. It's a pedestrian affair, but a mildly interesting first effort from the man who would evolve into the best crime filmmaker of the modern era.


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