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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Mesrine : L'Instinct de mort (Mesrine: Part 1 –Death Instinct)


The first of the bio diptych about Jacques Mesrine is one amazing film that I simply describe as great adrenaline rush as is a crime, action and most of all, dark film that when is over you wish you could immediately go into the second part so you could go on watching more and more. Wow! French cinema has great action/crime dramas that I definitively should check more often.

Part 1 tells about Mesrine in the ‘60’s and the beginning of the ‘70s, starting when he comes back from the Algerian war as a young military man with war scars until he escapes jail in Quebec and Quebecois press declares him Public Enemy #1. The story allows us to travel from Paris to Spain to Quebec to USA and back to Canada, but you have to see the great attention to details with excellent recreation of the decade covered. You will find here family drama, love/marriage, bloody action, sex, violence, gangsters wars, and a tense prison escape that according to me is tense because actors expressions and not necessarily for what they do to escape.

Aside from all the controversy about if the film glorifies Mesrine or not, this is an instantly attention grabber film with excellent performance by Vincent Cassel (Mesrine) and an all stars cast of the likes of Gérard Depardieu, Cécile De France, Roy Dupuis, Elena Anaya and many more.

I really do not want to write too much about this film as I want to see the second part first, that Vincent Cassel says that are two different movies because the story each tells and the ‘60s are different from the ‘70s, which is absolutely true. Here are his exact words for those that understand French.

Inspiré des deux autobiographies de Jacques Mesrine, L'Instinct de mort et Coupable d'être innocent, le dyptique Mesrine se compose de deux volets : L'Instinct de mort et L'Ennemi public n°1, deux films très différents selon Vincent Cassel. "Même si les deux opus respectent la chronologie de la vie de Mesrine, on sentait bien, déjà pendant le tournage, qu'ils seraient différents l'un de l'autre, confie le comédien. D'abord on change d'époque : les années 50 et 60 ne ressemblent en rien aux années 70 : ce ne sont pas les mêmes voitures, les mêmes looks, les mêmes musiques, et surtout pas les mêmes mentalités. Les deux films développent deux thèmes qui se complètent l'un l'autre. Si L'Instinct de mort raconte l'histoire d'un jeune qui se cherche puis se trouve, L'Ennemi public n°1 raconte celle d'un homme qui sait où ses choix de vie l'emmènent et qui y va malgré tout. Le premier est un film noir. Le second en revanche serait plus un thriller psychologique, la paranoïa d'un type qui sait intuitivement comment tout cela va finir."

So, according to Cassel Part 1 is a dark film and Part 2 will be a more a psychological thriller. I will count the days to be able to see the second part, as Part 1 was a huge pleasant and enjoyable surprise that took me in a fast voyage into the life of a criminal or a “freedom fighter” like he calls himself at one moment while in Quebec.

Definitively a must be seen film for many that enjoy French cinema and excellent crime/action/drama/biopic/dark film genres.

I can’t hardly wait until Part 2!!!

Enjoy!!!

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