2 cops are promised by the retiring chief of the Paris police that the one, getting the violent gang robbing armored trucks, will get his job. The 2 will do whatever it takes to get the promotion, even if it means breaking the law.
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In the underbelly of the Parisian criminal world, the Police are frustrated by a gang committing a series of violent robberies. Leo Vrinks and Denis Klein are two cops seeking promotion, and the imminent departure of the Chief sets the scene for them to compete for the vacant throne. The competition between them becomes increasingly ruthless and blurs the usual lines of morality, until there seems no difference between the police and the criminals they chase. Vrinks, meeting with a source, becomes involved with a murder. Klein seizes the opportunity to up the ante and arranges for the arrest of Vrinks, but when he goes further and viciously involves Vrinks' wife, Camille, revenge is inevitable.Written by
Freely inspired by actual events which occurred in Paris, in January 1886. Two different police flying squads waited for a gang of robbers - the disguised gang - just after they pulled a bank heist. But everything got awry because of one of the two squads mistake. Policemen opened fire and a cop but also a gangster were killed. Gérard Depardieu and Daniel Auteuil's characters are very close to the actual cops of this authentic story. See more »
Where honor meets decadence and gentleness brutality...
The film by Olivier Marchal has recently been released in Polish cinemas under quite a misleading title, 36, which does not indicate much to an average movie goer. And the same was as to me. I went to see it not because it is based on true facts (no handout said it), nor because it is a thriller (I am not a particular fan of such films) but because of two main actors, Gerard Depardieu and Daniel Auteuil, both remarkably popular in Europe. The movie surprised me, not only due to the performances of the above mentioned persons, but because of the content and the way it is presented.
MESSAGE AND REALISM: It would be silly to present now the content of the film. Many before me have already done it. All I would like to say, or in other words, all I would like to draw viewer's attention to are two factors: what the film generally wants to convey and why it is so natural. Marchal's film IS (I do not deny) filled with violence. It shows the methods of the worst criminals. A particularly disgusting moment was beating of a woman in a bar, close friend of the cops. However, the main idea and focus is not directed towards the criminals that much as rather towards two cops who can also be influenced by decadence and brutality. Leo Vrinks (Daniel Auteuil) is definitely a good man, attached to his family and striking for justice indefatigably fighting against the pack of bandits. His former friend, however, Denis Klein (Gerard Depardieu) moves his goals in a different direction... Therefore, the end shows that they get what each one deserves... Therefore, the movie is a wonderful message of how people stir their goals in life. At the same time, it is a very natural presentation of the world of the cops, how risky their lives are, how they really have to deal with most serious crimes. But here, it is important to state that by showing violence, the film IN NO WAY tries to promote it, but aims at a realistic image of the main characters' reality.
CAST: The performances are great. Most people play very naturally, which makes the film a true adventure. There are such moments in which you feel that you are there with Vrinks. The director wonderfully manages to lead a viewer to the action, to be controlled by it, to sink in it. And that proves the fact that the film is a very talented piece of work.
EMOTIONS: I was very, very surprised how many gentle moments the producers entailed in a thriller. On the one hand, we see the corruption and decadence of the criminal world; on the other hand, there is love and gentleness. I will never forget the moment when Vrinks is in a jail and does all he can in despair to see his wife, Camille Vrinks (Valeria Golino). Their delicate kiss and gentle words "I love you" later occur to be the key aspects of their last meeting in this world. And the sequence of Vrinks and his 17 year old daughter, Lola (played by Auteuil's real daughter Aurore Auteuil). He is showed as a man who has never been spoiled by the world he dealt with. The emotions that the movie shows are really worth attention - no kitsch, no tearjerker, but real life!
To sum up, I have to say that I liked the movie. Not many French films are released in Poland, not many of them are famous in the world (pity), but after seeing Marchal's film, I consider it one of the best of its genre. Really, honor meets decadence and gentleness meets brutality. Isn't that realistic?
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