6.2/10
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La mécanique de l'ombre (2016)

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1:31 | Trailer
The unemployed Duval is contacted by a mysterious organization to transcribe intercepted calls. He accepts the job with no suspicions, since it restores stability to his life, but it will soon result in political shenanigans of all kinds.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Duval
... Clément (as Denis Podalydès de la Comédie Française)
... Labarthe
... Gerfaut
... Sara
Philippe Résimont ... De Grugy
Daniel Hanssens ... Albert
... Le bras droit de Labarthe
Olivier Bony ... Le voisin
Bernard Eylenbosch ... L'homme de main
... La responsable RH
Nader Farman ... Al-Shamikh
Angelo Dello Spedale ... Pernot
Yves Jadoul ... Le vieil homme du couloir
Christian Hening ... L'employé de ménage (as Christian Hening de Franceschi)
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Storyline

The unemployed Duval is contacted by a mysterious organization to transcribe intercepted calls. He accepts the job with no suspicions, since it restores stability to his life, but it will soon result in political shenanigans of all kinds.

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Action | Thriller

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Details

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Release Date:

11 January 2017 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Avlyssnaren  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,200,000 (estimated)
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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Duval being hired to perform a menial and seemingly pointless administrative task, working alone in an empty office space, is very similar to the establishing plot of the Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Red-Headed League", in which pawnbroker Jabez Wilson is hired by the fictitious League to daily attend an otherwise empty office and copy out pages from the Encyclopedia Britannica by hand. See more »

Goofs

We see Duval (François Cluzet) typing with two fingers, but in the close-ups we see the hands typing with ten fingers. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Befuddling plot, solid cast
29 January 2018 | by See all my reviews

A film with an intriguing first half hour and set-up, a 70s-style spy thriller with mysterious shadow figures, typewriters and cassette recordings, that loses its way as it dives down into an incomprehensible labyrinthine political head-scratcher.

The muted, stripped down palette and sets and the very intentional non-digital central setup of an accountant transcribing cassette taps does remind of past films like The Conversation.

As it moves on however the initial setup does largely seem like a gimmick to have a base to move off from.

The main reason to keep watching for me is the always-engaging Cluzet. Often called upon to play the 'everyman' in his films (e.g. Tell No One), here he plays Duval very downtrodden - unhappy with his working life, attending AA meetings and living a seemingly very solitary, structured life. And yet when he's embroiled into criminality, he's always believable. He struggles, a fish out of water, usually to be beaten back and really gave me my only reason to keep watching: I wanted to see what would happen to Duval.

A pity given the main parlour games between shadow operatives seeking for 'the notebooks' had lost my interest well before the 87mins were done but there's also nothing especially off-putting going on either.


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