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Film Critics: Today, December 18, winners from Rolling Stone magazine, PhoenixCC, UtahFCA, Kansas CityFCC and St. LouisFCA. Nominations from VancouverFCC.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mesrine: L'Ennemi Public No.1 (Mesrine: Part 2- Public Enemy #1)


I was really “dying” to see the second part of this unbelievable good crime, action, biopic, and dark film but watching the first part didn’t prepared me for the amazing psychological character study that is done in the second installment or to the more violent aspect of his life portrayed in the screen and I do not only talk about the killing or the bloody scenes, I also talk about how violent Mesrine was portrayed with words, no matter if represents or not the real Mesrine.

I can’t say that I like it better than the first installment, no. Both are good but think that I understand why they did two installments, as I believe that each movie is different and has a different style. The first is more enjoyable as Mesrine is becoming the “vedette” as he calls himself; the second is heavy as this “vedette” could definitively manipulate the press, expose and ridicule the police authorities, and most of all be as scary as not many gangsters have ever been portrayed in the screen.

Have to admit that most of the gangster stories I have seen in the screen are from American cinema and while there are some good classic films, I believe that Mesrine is an excellent gangster movie and from recent gangster films I have seen definitively is the best in any country cinema. Perhaps is because is based on a real person that loved to be a celebrity and consequently, there are plenty of public information about him and apparently the screenplay writer and the director told the story with not many artistic licenses plus excellent tech specs, editing, and music score seamless integrated into the story to successfully create in audiences a thrilling, horror, shocking and many other emotions.

As you probably know by now Public Enemy #1 tells the about the last 6/7 years of Mesrine life in France and has a succession of unbelievable escapes from jail, from a trial, ridiculous kidnapping and well, yes awful violent and bloody scenes like when he punishes the right wing journalist. But definitively no matter how scary and violent this movie could be absolutely is a must be seen and a fantastic follow-up to the first installment.

Vincent Cassel is just spectacular, probably his best role ever and he delivers almost perfectly. The good news is that here we have Mathieu Almaric and he does an amazing François Besse; but also great Ludivine Sagnier gives a good performance as the last woman in Mesrine life.

I can’t help but to think that I truly believe that Americans cannot do a remake of this fabulous story and extraordinary gangster movie, so I hope that no producer gets crazy ideas to do a remake. Consequently I strongly suggest you do not miss both movies even if you do not like subtitles, especially if you enjoy gangsters movies with lots of action, romance, dark comedy, thrilling psycho character and especially a man that was able to so appalling defeat the establishment for so long, and until the establishment was forced to “execute” him.

Jean-François Richet did an excellent job as a director and most of all as a truly amazing storyteller that in my opinion captured the “essences” of the different Mesrines since he was a young military man until he was that charismatic “celebrity” and atrocious killer.

I strongly recommend both films, but I realize that especially the second has scenes that could disturb viewers so perhaps start with the first and if you want to see more, then be sure to mentally prepare yourself before you watch the second installment.

Enjoy!!!

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