- The Cop review by NW
This film is spectacular, sharply and sparely filmed - as always with Melville - and meticulously detailed. Before watching it make sure that all your mental facilities for multiple plot line tracking are fully active and you are ready to distinguish between all the solidly built men in suits and trenchcoats! At the end of my first viewing of this tale of professionally planned robbery, treachery and death I was still quite confused about exactly how the plot worked ... Catherine Deneuve was as superb as ever, but I was still at a loss about her allegiances ... for example ... indeed, re-visiting after a few months I am still confused!
Beautifully filmed: as always, outdoes its american archetypes. The exactly detailed mechanism of the robbers' plot delightfully stretches things a bit far ... plots like that tend to hit snags in real life and Melville is being ambitious ... robbery on a train from a helicopter flying overhead - can you really believe it? The huge horseshoe magnet to unlock the train door? - but gosh, it is impressive. It may be daft, but if you are going to play the perfect robbery game, and you are Jean-Pierre Melville, go ahead: it will be a masterpiece! Similarly, Alain Delon's cold eyed perfectionism is rather beyond credibility, but why not? Remember to apply your sense of humour and the bizarre.
As always, I longed for french sub-titles – I found the really rapid dialogue hard to follow and the English sub-titles seemed often to vary quite a bit from what was actually said ...
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.
If you like Melville and French film noir do not miss this great film.
- The Cop review by CB
Melville's last film is bewildering to understand on first viewing but this is a superbly crafted film (with the exception of one flaw). Several climatic scenes are rendered virtually dialogue less ( as was true of Le Cercle Rouge) with much emotional tension conveyed by interchanges of short glances or long stares. Several incidents in the film are preposterous but the film is so engrossing I just laughed them off. The only flaw in the film is the 20 minute long train sequence where the exteriors are so obviously made using a toy train set that it grates, even though one accepts the utter implausibility of a helicopter travelling a few metres above a train for about 20 minutes without anyone on board noticing, and for me the accumulation of the detail of Simon's activities went on too long. All the main actors are superb though the characters are largely cynically dispassionate. Un Flic is as worthy as Melville's other more celebrated gangster films like Le Doulos and Le Circle Rouge.
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