Saturday, April 04, 2009

French Crime Drama About Second Chances (rated 4 stars)

by Jean-Pierre Melville

Jean-Pierre Melville brings his understated and very cinematic touch to the crime drama “Le Deuxième Souffle”. With a taught and nearly wordless opening sequence of a jailbreak he raises the stakes and establishes the character of Gu (played by Lino Ventura) who wants to get away from his life of crime, but of course it isn’t quite as simple as it seems as one last caper becomes possible. As with every film that I’ve seen by Jean-Pierre Melville, he depicts the processes and operations of the criminal and police world in a fine level of detail that always fascinate me. At times it may seem confusing, but in his patient and detailed way, Melville connects all of the pieces in a complex and human story about an aging criminal and the people around him.