A brilliant gangster film
Jacques Mesrine was France's most notorious gangster, and like many
gangsters he has earned himself a bio-pic: or in this case two
bio-pics. Director Jean-François Richet co-wrote and directed an
ambitious project showing both the rise and fall of Mesrine. The first
film was an excellent gangster flick.
After the brutal Algerian War for Independence, Jacques Mesrine
(Vincent Cassel) is at a lost with what to do as a career. His friend
Paul (Gilles Lellouche) encourages the man into SAO, a crime
organisation, who partake in robbery. With him gaining money and living
by his own interpretation of loyalty and respect. Mesrine: Killer
Instinct document's Mesrine's marriage with Spanish woman Sofia (Elena
Anaya) who bore him three children and his romance with Jeanne
Schneider (Cécile De France). After becoming notorious in France
Mesrine and Jeanne fled to Montreal which saw their criminal activities
continue and he becomes a focus for the media.
Mesrine: Killer Instinct has a lot going for it, with a good script, a
great visual style and excellent acting. Cassel was brilliantly cast as
a violence gangster with a role that allows him to stretch himself as
an actor, from being a lover, a fighter to a real scum bag to a man who
suffers the horrors of solitary confinement. It was a great
performance, making the character believable who does has a scene of
loyalty, like beating two blokes up at a bar who insults the barmaid.
Cassel was ability supported throughout, but to me Anaya was
particularly excellent as Mesrine's Spanish wife. But seeing I can not
pick out an actor for being good or bad shows a uniform strength of the
Richet shows terrific skill as a director. Visually Mesrine: Killer
Instinct was great to look at. Scenes like when Mesrine was in Algeria
and the robbery of the casino were done with great style, with both
scenes being intense. The Algeria scene using a lot of quick cuts and
using a sandy filter and the casino robbery was done using hand-held
cameras. The violence was realistic, with some decent gangster action
scenes, whilst the raid on the prison felt a bit like Grand Theft Auto
IV. Richet also effectively uses 24 style split screen to show events
that are happening at the same time. Richet pacing was quick and the
tone was serious: fans of gangster films will enjoy this film.
Richet and Abdel Raouf Dafri (who also wrote A Prophet) writes a very
good script with a lot events and subjects being examined. We get to
see the operations of a gangster at the ground level and show that they
function in small groups and despite the media perception they is no
glamour in gangsterism. There is character development and a strong
narrative involving Mesrine. The film's running time is a tout 1 hour
45 minutes (excluding the credits), which is excellent for a film it's
many events. But I believe that film does skip over Mesrine and
Jeanne's early relationship where they meet at a bar and the next scene
the two are robbing a casino. Despite it being an unorthodox romance I
can't picture Mesrine saying to Jeanne 'I know a great casino to rob'
straight away. But that's a minor concern.
An excellent film and one of the best gangster films of 2009.
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good movie, everynone must see it.
Great movie, I loved it. One of the best heist movies of all time.
Great movie I loved it will definatley watch again.
Mesrine Gangster movie
This film is wonderfully acted. It is an emotionally violent and
physically violent portrayal of a man who was exceptional in his
approach to his chosen profession of being a career criminal. If the
actions in this film were not known to be based on fact then they would
appear to be too incredible. Gangster films should be extreme and
violent and this film delivers by introducing a physiological element
to the portrayal of the central character and his associates. The
question that intrigued me most was how did this man manage to live so
radically in opposition to the moral compass of his time. It appears
quite easily. Like the chainsaw scene in Scarface it begins with
Mesrine becoming desensitized to violence, torture and murder while
serving as a solider and this might be seen as a trigger to the path he
chose. Jodorowsky once stated in relation to films," I love violence".
It would be ridiculous to make a film about Mesrine without trying to
show realistically how the ability to embrace violence is integral to a
gangsters life. Mesrine is not a film that blithely attempts to create
an anti-hero instead it charters the life of this man in a warts and
all portrayal. However it also shows that a violent person can be
charming and charismatic in equal measure. From the cradle to the grave
this man's life was extreme. In life and certainly in film one of the
greatest tragedies in life is if someone is boring. Many things can be
levelled at Mesrine but having lived a dull life is not one of them.
His life makes a cracking film. If everyone acted like Mesrine society
would cease to exist.How do I like my bank robbers? Violent,
resourceful and ruthless. Mesrine is almost a criminal version of James
Bond. A man who can murder, who is cold blooded in any physical
confrontation and who has an eye for the ladies. That Mesrine gave
interviews about his lifestyle and attempted to justify his actions is
fascinating. I am slightly saddened that such a good film does not rate
more highly. I would attribute this solely to the fact that it is
subtitled for those who do not speak French.