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7.4
/10
719 Ratings

Police

Directed by Maurice Pialat
France, 1985
Drama

Synopsis

Detective Mangin (Depardieu) is a Parisian cop who specializes in interrogations, using intimidation to the point of sadism. His efforts to bust a Tunisian drug racket go awry, however, when he falls into an affair with a sultry, defiant liar (Marceau), who is the girl of one of the criminals.

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Police Directed by Maurice Pialat
Pialat shifts tone on a dime here, and Depardieu is right there with him – the intimate moments when the besotted inspector seems to astonish himself by blurting out “I’ve never loved anyone” is the very quintessence of his tough-and-tender persona. The closing freeze frame homages The 400 Blows (1959)… But Pialat’s film really belongs to a pre-New Wave tradition of French cinema, where police work is exactly that: work.
March 31, 2017
Concerned with the relationships between cops and robbers, this is one of the few Pialat films that can be said to rest comfortably in a popular genre. (Incidentally, it was one of the director’s biggest commercial hits in France.) Yet it’s hardly a work-for-hire; the explosive, unpredictable interrogation sequences bear Pialat’s unmistakable stamp, as does the brutishness of the main characters.
February 19, 2016
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It certainly helps that this is a rare Pialat film with a strong screenplay, but Depardieu’s juxtaposition of violent machismo and utter impotence is one that would come to characterize his career. One can be permitted to see in it an impertinent half-portrait by Depardieu of Pialat himself—one partly indulged by the director, so daunted was he by the actor’s talent.
October 16, 2015
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