Gerard Depardieu is a raffish dock worker who mourns his raped and murdered sister amongst the sleazy dives of the seedy Marseilles waterfront. When mystery girl Nastassja Kinski shows up, he is bewitched by her beauty and learns she may know something about the identity of his sibling’s attacker.
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A very strange film. I was hoping to like it more, but it was just too weird. However, no one can deny what an interesting and intelligent filmmaker Jean-Jacques Beineix is. I recommend giving his films a try.
The grittier, more competent albeit likewise grandiose French sister to Coppola's "One From the Heart" (you have to admit the similarity between Kinski's roles in those films, as well as the extravagance in the productions and the themes of longing for something more than where you're at).
Any examination of the crime that begins the film is not important; it's the emotional repercussions of the murder that Beineix is most concerned with. The literal decay of this character's psyche, as his obsession with revenge destroys any chance of escape, for himself and for those closest to him, is mirrored by the decay of this small harbour town, full of violent drunkards, menacing sailors and grotesque whores.
A noirish tale set on the fringe of life. Where our protagonist strives to achieve two impossible things; finding his sister's killer and escaping the gutter, slipping into fantasy. From the score to the production design to the gonzo acting, I felt utterly enchanted and yet, a sense of looming despair within each frame. Definitely not exactly what I was expecting, compared to Betty Blue.
The style and cinematography of this film is absolutely amazing! Feels like Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett had a fever dream in France! Loved the noir story line but it coulda been bout 20 minutes shorter. I feel like the middle kinda lost its steam at lines. But overall I must admit that this was one damn fine movie.
The use of soundstage(s) for much of the movie really heightens the surreality, I was reminded of similar usage in Dark City (among other similarities), although I kind of think they were more effective here. Maybe because they were more artificial?
Un film controversé déjà avant sa sortie en salles. Après l'étonnant succès de "Diva", il se démarque agréablement des clichés habituels du genre, et, malgré un partage tranché des critiques, dénote un incontestable et sérieux travail d'auteur...
The original 4-hour cut of this film has apparently been lost. I wish I hadn't checked wikipedia. "This immense artistic loss reportedly still haunts Beneix today". This film is brilliant and, it seems, misunderstood.