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The Serpent (2006)

Le serpent (original title)
Fashion photographer Vincent Mandel, in the midst of a difficult divorce, is suddenly being accused of rape and extorted. What does his former classmate Joseph Plender want from him?

Director:

Eric Barbier

Writers:

Eric Barbier, Ted Lewis (novel) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Yvan Attal ... Vincent
Clovis Cornillac ... Plender
Pierre Richard ... Cendras
Simon Abkarian ... Sam
Minna Haapkylä ... Hélène
Olga Kurylenko ... Sofia
Gérald Laroche Gérald Laroche ... Becker
Jean-Claude Bouillon Jean-Claude Bouillon ... Max
Veronika Varga ... Catherine
Pierre Marzin Pierre Marzin ... Carbona
Michaël Moyon Michaël Moyon ... Sertis
Julien Dubois Julien Dubois ... Mathieu
Manon Tournier Manon Tournier ... Juliette
Éric Naggar Éric Naggar ... Le Juge d'instruction
Catherine Davenier Catherine Davenier ... Madame Le Juge
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Storyline

A ruthless gang led by private detective Joseph Plender is extorting rich people and famous fashion photographer Vincent Mandel seems the next victim. He is married to Hélène, daughter of one of the richest people in Europe, but not quite happily. In fact the marriage is on the brink of a divorce and a judge is deciding who will take the two children. Can Hélène take them to Germany or will they stay with Vincent? Vincent has a lot on his mind and he improvises when model Sofia Kippiani comes to his studio, but his makeup crew doesn't show up. Before he knows it, he is accused of a rape. Things go worse and worse for Vincent, he sees his entire life slipping away and, most importantly, he might lose his children. But why does his former schoolmate Joseph Plender seek contact with Vincent and even solve a nasty problem for him? Does Plender want something more than money? Written by Arnoud Tiele (imdb@tiele.nl)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Vincent's life is being destroyed. Now he must find out why.

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

10 January 2007 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Snake See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Vincent's lawyer tells him to "plea guilty". Until 2011, in France, only crimes punishable with no more than 5 years of jail were subject to the "plea guilty" procedure. After 2011, it has been extended to crimes punishable with 10 years of jail. Murder is not one of those cases. See more »

Connections

Referenced in L'arène de France: Episode dated 3 January 2007 (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Maybe the best film noir ever made!
12 January 2011 | by klusebaSee all my reviews

I bought this film at a cheap price at a drugstore because I found the story intriguing enough. I haven't heard about the movie or the book before and didn't even know the main actor Yvan Attal. Now, I will never forget him or this movie because I found a true and unexpected masterpiece by chance. This movie is dark, absorbing and intense and sends shivers down my spine by delivering everything a great psycho thriller should show us. This movie is a disturbing vengeance movie and those who always thought that the French were only able to do emotional and intellectual dramas and comedy movies should now be convinced that they can also create some heavier stuff. The great acting and the intense atmosphere are outstanding and even not comparable to other psycho thrillers so that the French have once again created something unique with this movie.

The storyline is slow paced and mysterious and becomes heavier and more and more disturbing. The characters are extremely interesting. The main actor Yvan Attal does an incredible job as a photographer that is going to get divorced soon that finds himself suddenly in the middle of a creepy nightmare that becomes reality without really knowing why. Clovis Cornillac plays the bad guy in a very mysterious, silent and creepy way that is chasing Yvan Attal and trying to destroy his life for a reason that is only revealed in a dramatical final showdown. It is hard to believe that this actor that plays a dangerous maniac and killer in this intense flick has already played Asterix and convinces in both styles. Those two actors are strong enough to carry the whole movie and we can add to them Olga Kurylenko that has a short role as a mysterious and beautiful femme fatale. The movie has a few action, gore and sex scenes but they are only some entertaining gimmicks as the whole movie is underlined by a very depressive atmosphere. The violence of this movie has a mental and not a physical touch. The whole scenery and style of directing is very photographic, very aesthetic and detailed so that a brilliant job by the director, screenwriter and cameramen are added to the perfect executions of the two main actors. Even Alfred Hitchcock or David Lynch could not have created a darker movie and only beat this movie in terms of weirdness and originality or pioneer's work. That's why "Le serpent" is maybe not properly innovating its genre but in my opinion by far the best of its kind in the last decade, maybe together with the epic vengeance movie "Oldboy" and the heavily disturbing instant Quebec classic "5150 rue des Ormes". It's a sad thing that this movie didn't get the attention it would have deserved so I would ask anyone that saw this movie to spread the word about it. I'm close to give a ten point rating to this flick which is a thing that I rarely consider. I just give nine points to this little gem because I haven't seen it often enough and because I don't know if this movie will still feel that intense in a decade or so.

All in all, I highly recommend this movie to anyone that likes disturbing and intriguing psycho thriller or simply the film noir genre. This is truly a rare masterpiece and a must see!


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