La French (The Connection)

Céline Sallette … intuition and the silent bullet

Céline Sallette … intuition and the silent bullet

Jean Dujardin and Gilles Lellouche latest on-screen collaboration places them on the opposite sides of a heady 70s Marseille landscape. Based on real-events at the time, La French sees magistrate Pierre Michel’s (Dujardin) attempts to break-up Marseille’s roaring heroin trade and bring down its central player, mob-boss ‘Tany’ Zampa (Lellouche).

Director Cédric Jimenez achieves an electric, hugely vivid world, replete with grit and glamour. Seedy street scenes are cut with café shot-gun drama, while beach panoramas, laden with portent are pinned with airy cliff-top negotiations. Marseille is coloured with tired greys and greens, a cynical hue, balancing the impressive energy of Sophie Reine’s editing. The result is a world that’s ‘cool’ but not self-consciously so, and one that holds Pierre and Zampa at its centre, in the ‘boxing ring.’


Gilles Lellouche, the relentless ‘Tany’ Zampa

The two are equally matched, fiercely intelligent, relentless and strategic; all the while, beneath their pride, rests a raging sensitivity. There’s a palpable ‘connection’ between Dujardin and Lellouche (partly, perhaps, as a result of their off-screen friendship). It’s an ionic bond, an opposing charge, which, in their face-to-face scenes, achieves one of the most convincing good-guy/kingpin tensions of the gangster-genre.

Equally majestic is the immense and frightened love between Pierre and Jacqueline (Céline Sallette). Sallette inhabits a papery moth-like beauty. She’s intuitive, wearied by a steady, rocking fear that she will lose her husband. Her anxiety dominates the house, making their connection increasingly claustrophobic; and they sit in an uneasy calm, before the storm, waiting for the silent bullet.

Director: Cédric Jimenez (2014)

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s