A Cop (Un Flic) Reviews
"Un flic" is a 1972 French film, directed by Jean-Pierre Melville. This film has a strong ensemble with Delon, Crenna, Conrad and Deneuve in the leads. However, one can wonder about the decision of using Crenna and Conrad, two very american actors only speaking french in the film. Dubbed it seems, even if there´s scenes when it´s more uncertain. In Crenna´s case it was apparently post-dubbed for accent reasons, meaning he spoke french during his scenes. "Un flic" is slick, sterile, cold coloured and slow paced film with a narrative that´s a bit too scattered in my book. There´s hardly any proper character development, it´s not always needed, but I personally feel that the film would´ve been a bit better with that. I like Melville´s decision of having two long no-dialog and no-music scenes in the film, which in itself creates a unique feeling within the movie. The pillar of the film is the code of honor. By betraying trust and fooling someone professionally means there will be revenge and the price is death. Like in the classic Western and Samurai movies. I love the stare down scenes obviously inspired by classic western stare downs. The worst part of the movie is the train heist with obvious helicopter/train miniature models. That drags down the movie for sure in my eyes. Not even in 1972 that would´ve passed unnoticed. There´s also a bit too many scenes with quite crappy studio settings that drags down the film as well. Delon is good, but this is not his best work. Crenna and Conrad gives some weight, but I don´t honestly believe in their physical action scenes, they simply don´t have have the physics and charisma for that. Specifically Crenna. The always beautiful Deneuve is underused and just eye candy unfortunately. What a waste of a great actress. "Un flic" has something unique, but it´s not enough to excite me in 2015.
"Un Flic" is a relatively minor Melville film (especially putting "Bob le Flambeur" and "Le Cercle Rouge" into consideration), but it's ravishing all the same. Like the problematic comprehensibility of "The Big Sleep," it isn't worried about tight narrative. It's about temperament and atmosphere, and it's safe to say that the ambience of "Un Flic" is penetrative enough to make your bones break. There's something uneasy that leaks from the ghost blue of the cinematography and Richard Crenna's depressed eyes; the placid slickness of it all can only reach so far before someone is shot.
Telling the interconnecting stories of a tireless cop (Alain Delon) and a nightclub owner (Crenna) who pulls off massively intricate jobs with big payoffs, "Un Flic" is squalid enough to make us squirm; criminals walk right under the noses of the police, while the police, as well-meaning as they are, are confined to a purgatory of law-breaking with payoffs that brings no one pleasure. In so many other crime films, there's a notion that once the main villains are locked up, the heroes are left satisfied, ready for their next big adventure. But "Un Flic" exists in an entirely different universe. The chasing and capturing of criminals is tiring, redundant even. Who is having more fun: the sinners, or the rule-followers?
Initially, the film seems as though it's going to transform into a full-fledged exercise in film noir style. Cigarettes are tossed around, liquor is spilled, and femme fatales are easy to come by. But the closer we get to the conclusion, we begin to realize something: Delon's character, Edouard Coleman, isn't a James Bond or a Frank Bullitt or a Harry Callahan. He is a man, a man who was intrigued by enforcing the law many moons ago but is finally growing restless from the unavoidable sleazy details he sees on a day to day basis. Behind his eyes is a glassy emptiness; if he were to throw away his badge this very moment, what difference would it make?
I suppose "Un Flic"'s melancholy edge is what gives it such a lasting impression. The story is too complicated to easily follow and the style is one and the same with Melville's other films. But that blue, that blue, is disturbing. Unlike black-and-white, it gives reality a grit never seen by the naked eye. Crime doesn't pay and don't we know it, but in "Un Flic," even renowned actors like Alain Delon and Catherine Deneuve can hardly live in a world this hopeless.
The story is deceptively simple, goes by the book, opens as most films of the genre do, closes like few of them do, has a predictable climax, and is one of the most important examples of neo-noir, including the relentless, determined cop, the beautiful blonde femme fatale and the typical friendship connection between cop and crook.
What are, then, the motivations for watching the film? Mellvile's scope, of course, the jazzy score and the performances of the terrific cast.
Le Cercle Rouge is famous for keeping the number of important characters small, and therefore memorable, but it is even more famous for featuring one of the best heist scenes in the history of cinema, which itself is a homage to Dassin's Rififi (1955). Pacing, attention to detail, suspense, silence, imminent danger: Melville transformed robbery into art, something only achievable in a medium that portrays fiction. Un Flic is a lesser effort, but tries to restore that already explored tradition. The number of characters is small, all film noir trademarks are there, Delon shines, Deneuve's look is enough to hypnotize you, and the aforementioned attention to detail is expressed in the train operation sequence, which again keeps the dialogue to a minimum and shuts down the musical score. Although I mentioned that the film opens like most do crime flicks do, that was only thematically. The execution is unparalleled. Both scenes feature suspense at its best.
On the other hand, the term "lesser" unfortunately involves some undeniable issues. For starters, the love triangle between Delon, Deneuve and Crenna is half-baked, and is used as a very brief excuse to pull off your typical noir plot description. This issue is left unfinished and the viewer is left scratching his/her head wondering what was the use of putting them in a love triangle in the first place. No satisfactory resolution is given post-climax. That was a slap to our faces. Secondly, the friendship between Delon and Crenna is also left as something implied. Normally, these crime plots carry some moral ambivalence conflict in the "good" protagonist. By the time we get to the ending, we realize we are in the ending and this flank was left uncovered. Finally, it is too short! Everything had the potential of being expanded to the average length of Melville's other films, some time that could have also been used for fixing the two previous issues. There was not enough interaction with both the good and the bad sides, and the badassery of Delon was there, but not entirely exploited.
Still, maybe those were signs indicating that Melville was decaying and retired at the proper time. That's a very bold and maybe disrespectful hypothesis, something far beyond my intentions, but we must accept this is a replica of his famous stunts in a smaller scale. What remains is a delightful neo-noir contribution which has been left underrated because of its overshadowed status by greater films in Melville's enviable canon more than by its inferior quality, but comparable entertainment value.
here is EL7KR
So i vouldt see the film , if it is posible ??
The most interesting segment is the second heist, an elaborate robbery of a train in motion. Unfortunately, the cost-cutting use of a miniature helicopter and train for the long shots is seriously embarrassing.