L'Amour Braque (1985)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
as Simon Venin
as Gang Leader
as Gilbert Venin
Critic Reviews for L'Amour Braque
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Audience Reviews for L'Amour Braque
Sophie Marceau out-Pandoras Pandora herself in her Louise Brooks-pastiche getup. She plays Marie, the gun moll and courtesan at the center of Andrzej Zulawski's masterpiece of furious invention, L'Amour Braque. The two men who love her are her paramour, gangster Mickey (Tcheky Karyo), and recent Hungarian emigre Leo (Francis Huster), an 'idiot' who crosses their paths and instantly finds himself enamored by Marie (the script by Etienne Roda-Gil is a free adaptation of Dostoevsky's The Idiot). Amid flurries of lead and showers of blood, Marie vacillates, always at a fever pitch of hysteria and anguish, between her instinctive and passionate love for Leo and her devotion to Mickey, who is acting as an agent of vengeance on her behalf against some rival crimelords. Many people will be put off by this film's incredible dramatic intensity, the violence of its passion, and its visual ferocity. Moreover, the characters speak in a vernacular that is difficult to follow for many speakers of French, more so when it is rendered in English, resulting in dialogue that will prove especially challenging. The lives we see are locked in a candy-colored wasteland, a semi-abandoned Paris where everyday people pass casually by as blood is spilled on the very streets they walk. The film is painful in more ways than one, and its transgressions would probably set the tiredest hackles aquiver even today. But at its core is a fervent, almost fanatical belief in the transcendent, transfiguring, often terrifying power of the love of one human being for another. In Zulawski's world, love includes everything, even hate.
MONEY, SEX, WHORES, THE THEATER, LOVE, DEATH, HA HA HA HA HA! DOWN WITH THE ESTABLISHMENT, BOOM! POW! KABLAM! SEAGULLS SEAGULLS SEAGULLS! Yep, that's what watching this obnoxious film feels like: at top volume, in your face, all the time. The plot has something to do with rival Parisian gangsters and a Hungarian scooped into the mayhem who falls in love with a high-class hooker/gun moll, but it's just an excuse for a collection of disjointed rants against society and showcasing hysterical behavior. I'll give it this, there is no shortage of energy expended, with the loony anarchist gang of thugs resembling Kubrick's droogs from "A Clockwork Orange" paired with the gangland gunfire of "Scarface". The actors don't give performances, they go to histrionic extremes, constantly in motion, darting between rooms, convulsing their bodies, and either screaming their lines or laughing maniacally. Some believe director Zulawski is a gifted filmmaker, those of us who aren't moved by his bombastic delivery will find this exercise in excess torturous. According to the dedication, meant as an homage to Dostoyevsky's "The Idiot" but I think it's closer to Macbeth: "It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
I really don't know what to say about this movie. Perhaps it would be a ground-breaking one if putting on stage in a very post-modern way. But now, it's totally over-the-top in everything & simply unbearable.
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