Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Mesrine: L'instinct de mort - Mesrine - Killer Instinct

2008 by Jean Francois Richet - French

There are so many gangster movies. But to know that a movie was made on a particular gangster, who during the 60/70's was declared Public Enemy no. 1 in two countries, France and Canada, like a biopic of this maestro gangster, it is more than interesting. To know that, it had 2 parts, like how Soderberg did with Che, I was sure it will not be an ordinary movie. And then there is Vincent Cassel, who is an extra ordinary actor for me. I will never forget his acrobatics in the Oceans 11 movies.

Mesrine served the French army during its war against the Algerian independance war. Back to his family, he joined a friend in petty robbery and soon joins a big gang. At one point he tries to quit everything to be a family man, but soon rejoins his gang and grows into the most noted gangster of his times, infamous for his killings and prison escapes. 

This is a biopic of a gangster. It is not fair to look into the moral side of all, than to just watch and be amused about this intelligent man, just on the other side of the system though. He robs, he kills and he breaks prison as in child's play. What a life actually. I will be lying if I dont admit that at some point this character even provoked me to lead a gangster life. Who else gets so many opportunities to display ones inborn reflexes of bravery and macho-ism.

The movie, actually is told quite fast to begin with. A short stint in the army, petty robberies, meeting his life partner et all. Here all its quite fast. But then, when he is jailed finally for a 10 year term, that is where the movie turns into the typical French style of detailing. We could feel a change of pace here with the movie, but it is still gripping. (I now know that the creators of the movie were not sure what to show about this man, as most things he did in real life can carry a quote of 'unbelievable' around it, that his acts in a movie might attract a sense of unrealistic or exaggerated among the viewers who haven't heard about him). May be a reason why there is only a single prison break incident in this first part.

Vincent Cassel as Mesrine is more than brilliant. I wonder how he prepared for this movie. He seems to live a gangster. And then there is my favourite actor Gerard Depardieu, as Guido the Paris gangster boss who breeds Mesrine under his wings. Depardieu has only few scenes, but he leaves his mark easily and made Guido very prominent in the movie.

The movie has stylishly recreated the settings for the 60's and I must admit that we would hardly notice such things. So strong is the impact of the leading characters in this movie. Brilliant. It is really sad French movies are not released in India. Such a pity.

I already had the second part and wanted to carry on watching but then found the subtitles werent that good. So should have them ready for tonight. Cant wait for the show actually.