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Mohamed Ali Ayari,
Brigadier Stéphane Ruiz is a young and light-heartened cop who moves to Paris to be closer of his little son after the divorce of his wife. Working in the impoverished suburb of Montfermeil, in the 93th district, where Victor Hugo wrote his famous 1862's novel "The Miserables", Ruiz joins the local Anti-Crime Brigade, being paired with veterans but unscrupulous colleagues Chris and Gwada, who are charged with the task to train Ruiz about the way Montfermeil's works and the people to meet. However, his first day in Montfermeil twists in bad way when the owner of a circus and his men meet where drug-lord Le Maire ("The Mayor") claiming for a stolen baby lion a few hours ago, blaming him by the theft. Avoiding a fight between Le Maire and circus' owner, the three cops patrol the hood looking for the animal, learning that a troubled kid named Issa is the thief, who stolen to have it as pet. But when Ruiz, Chris and Gwada locate Issa to recover the baby lion, Issa's friends attempt to ...Written by
Thank goodness the director didn't listen to some of the critics...
Some people acknowledge that this movie is well shot, but complain that it doesn't get the roots of the problem, doesn't point out the culprits, probably the capitalist society and France's colonial past. Neither does it offer much in the way of easy solutions, which would have been completely off the mark. Any of that would have led to a militant movie that would have satisfied a few militants but that would have had much less impact on the rest of the viewers.
People compare this movie to La Haine, which was a landmark in its time; but Les Miserables takes a much wider view, where each participant - even the shadiest - has his own logic (few women in this movie, btw) and reasons for doing what they are doing. It is this humanist outlook that tags it to Victor Hugo, rather than the story that has little to do with the novel of the same name.
The suspense is riveting to the end, all the more that we don't know exactly where the movie is going. There are loads of short appearances by little-known actors that leave you wondering whether they are are actually acting a part or playing their own role. The action scenes are realistic and original.
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