From his childhood to his first titles, to his great come-back in 1993 and his legendary duel with Brazilian Ayrton Senna, this biopic will draw an intimate portrait of one of Formula 1's greatest drivers : Alain PROST.
This French film is notable for mixing its action-thriller narrative around an actual true event. In 1994 an Islamist terrorist group called the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) hijacked a plane travelling from Algeria to Paris, it had to land in Marseilles to refuel and it was here that the French special forces - the GIGN – executed an assault. It is later learned that the objective of the terrorists was to fly the aeroplane into the Eiffel Tower, so the parallels to the later world changing September 11th attacks on the USA are unmistakable. This feels almost a dry run that was thwarted.
The story is presented from three different perspectives – from the point-of-view of the terrorists, through the eyes of a special forces man and via the experiences of a Ministry of the Interior employee. In this way this docudrama gives a wide overview of the events that happened over those dramatic two days. Having said that, the characterisations are fairly minimal and the approach taken is pretty lean overall, with little included which isn't absolutely necessary. An exception to this is probably the inclusion of the material about the wife and young daughter of the special forces guy; I guess this was intended to humanise him and give the whole story a domestic perspective which more people could directly empathise with.
Stylistically, this one has been presented visually in quite an unusual way. Almost all colour has been drained from the screen, with the exception of a few instances, meaning that this is in effect in black and white with a few moments of washed out colour. It is a look which gives off a very downbeat feel to proceedings. Later on real TV footage of the news coverage is spliced into the flow in a seamless manner, this works well in adding to the authenticity. It could perhaps be said that too little emphasis is ultimately given to the assault itself, with an almost slightly rushed feel to the final proceedings. But all-in-all this is a very good thriller based around a true story which has been overshadowed by events that have occurred since, so it is pertinent that this film is out there reminding us of the near miss of a disaster of massive proportions which was averted mainly by the bravery and the actions of the French special forces.
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