Finelt tuned menace.
- Flic Story review by NW
This film is beautifully contrived with excellent narrative technique and exact tuning of the constantly threatening menace of violence. It has a positively thrilling use of colour and setting which I should associate with Antonioni. There is a nostalgic delight in seeing the relative calm and order of the Paris streets, enlivened by the enthusiastic vision of Traction Avant bandits showing what you could really do with a front wheel drive Citroen! As usual, this outdoes American gangster movies … by a long way. A joy to watch; especially with Alain Delon furiously over-acting the clipped-speech-laconic-smart detective, with his eyebrows working overtime ... can you over act "laconic"? Delon almost caricatures himself … .Trintignant, as Buisson, gives one of the most chillingly convincing portrayals of ruthless, delicately under-acted, menace that I have ever seen. This is a strangely sympathetic portrayal, in fact, of the utterly ruthless driven killer who is still human within himself … but driven. Ground for some quite deep speculation about humanity. Similarly, the portrayal of brutal police methods, and those who use them, is shocking … disturbing … and in the end unresolved.
It is amusing to feel a sort of startled charm nowadays at seeing half the cast with cigarettes dangling from their lower lips! Again, like the empty streets and the traction avant driving, this is a nostalgic step into the past.
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