Friday, July 6, 2007

Movies: Le Doulos

Jean-Paul Belmondo gives a goofy, atypically non-smoldering performance in Jean-Pierre Melville's (coughtotallyoverratedcough) 1962 "film noir" about cops, robbers, and snitches. Belmondo is Silien, a snitch who pretends to be a friend who turns out to actually have been a friend mistakenly perceived as a snitch, which perception (spoiler alert) costs him his life at the film's end, at which point everyone gets shot to death and we receive our required moral take-away: crime doesn't pay. The secondary take-away is that you can't trust a broad; it turns out that all of the snitches were actually the sexy and solicitous girlfriends of the robbers.

Le Doulos is playing to sardine-packed audiences at the Film Forum, perhaps thanks to reviews recalling the theatre's previous Melville rer-elease: Army of Shadows, another completely overrated (so overrated that there is no need for coughing). Le Doulos is better than AoS, if only because it is shorter, it is intentionally black and white (rather than grayishly colored), and for the final shot of Belmondo's visage pausing in an elliptical mirror before he falls, dead, out of frame. And this shot, which got a good laugh out of the audience:

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