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Renée Le Calm
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"Ni Pour, Ni Contre" tracks the fall of a young TV camerawoman, Caty, after she becomes involved with a group of petty criminals and their enigmatic leader, Jean. The gang lives hand-to-mouth until the day Jean plans a daring bank robbery. Although other gang members feel out of their league, Jean persuades them to take part and Caty finds herself in a hellish world of betrayal, violence and murder. Written by
Not at all a film noir, Klapisch's "Ni pour ni contre" is a run off-the-mill "heist", "coup du siècle" movie, with no original standpoint. The story is a poor justification for a series of beautifully filmed, very bright, colorful and sunny photographic scenes that parallel the aesthetics of this "more than perfect" gang, their associates and their "Appat" film heroine.
There is no justification for the use of a camera in the first "coup" scène, other than the set up of how this very particular innocent girl is being recruited by this band of criminals. Other incoherent sequences appear through the movie that one doesn't get to criticize for fear of sounding too realistic nowadays. Contrarily to other heist movies, nothing goes unusually wrong after the robbery to justify the mess up that ensues.
The attempts at building a camaraderie between the gangsters also falls short and shows clearly that too many people were involved writing this movie.
All and all, this movie is Klepisch's take at a genre he never tried before (american crime movies, not film noirs by any means, and surely not thrillers or polars), and he succeeds less-than-averagely.
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