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With a basis in truth this film tells the tale of two men from different social worlds whose chance encounter at a prison lecture changes both their lives in unexpected ways. So unexpected that it is hard to believe and I waited throughout the film for there to be some sort of fall, especially for Bruno, the ex-con.
Leaving aside the slightly wild tale of serendipity and golden fortune, one's enjoyment of the film hinges on the authenticity of the friendship between middle-class magazine editor, Victor, and Bruno, a car thief who hails from one of Paris's notorious banlieue. Playing these respective characters are two fine French actors - Edouard Baer and Benoît Magimel.
Baer plays the sanguine Victor with an urbane ease and it would be easy to assume that Baer plays himself, such is the comfort of the fit. The film does not permit us greater access to Victor whose charming existence is undercut by money worries. Magimel plays Victor with a deft touch easily mixing light with rough. Another character fitting his actor like a glove. When Victor and Bruno laugh together it is easy to believe this is Baer and Magimel laughing together. The matches are that seamless.
The film seems weightless and easy without much to offer. It does offer us optimism and a tale of friendship. There is a subtle theme of loyalty running throughout the film. Ultimately what really pays is not crime but loyalty.
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