|Index||3 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I never miss a french thriller, good or bad. I love thrillers. Some
french ones are not very good and others forgettable as soon as I get
out of the theatre. This very feature is not a genuine masterpiece, the
topic rather predictable, but the characters achieve to convince you
all through the movie. Especially Olivier Gourmet as a terrific gang
leader, not an usual character for him. Many action sequences, many
"dead meat" too. It tells the story of an ordinary dude - Rouve - whose
the father, a private eye, suddenly disappears. And a suit case full of
I won't tell you the following, but I can assure that this little and non ambitious movie keeps you awake with some not so foreseeable situations.
Films with violence do not shock audiences unless they have something which can induce viewers to leave their seats as if they have been completely dominated by fear. A similar violent scene involving a small baby being thrown into water has been featured in 'final balance' /'Légitime Défense' which can be labeled a "responsible thriller".The welfare and well being of a family is at the heart of this film's narrative thread. Belgian actor Olivier Gourmet gives new dimensions to his villainous role. Although French actor Jean Paul Rouve gives a very restrained performance, he does not miss any opportunity to portray his part of a dedicated family man. He conveys that he would do anything in order to protect his father, mother and child from dangers. Lastly, a mention must also be made of French actor Claude Brasseur who shines in a small but important role. Watching him perform nicely, one learns that he has aged for sure but continues to carry considerable charm.
The French title, 'Légitime défense', was translated on the screening I watched into 'The law of violence'. This put me in mind of Cronenberg's 'History of violence'; parallels surfaced right through Pierre Lacan's film. Each film held my attention but in strikingly different ways. Cronenberg provided an intense feed of sensational episodes of a threatening, a violent or a sexual nature, with lurking, dark family issues permeating the mix. But this was achieved, in view, at the cost of impoverished coherence and credibility of the story line. Is that a pedantic criticism? Is 'story' relatively irrelevant in films of an 'action' genre? Lacan shows that this need not be the case. He maintains attention through exactly the same devices as Cronenberg but not at the expense of a believable narrative thread. Believable, and as a consequence, identifiable with: with Lacan's movie I couldn't help asking myself, 'Christ - what the hell would I do in that situation?' That level of artistic intimacy wasn't reached, for me, by the Cronenberg film.
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