Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Detective

Détective; Crime/ Drama, France/ Switzerland, 1985; D: Jean-Luc Godard, S: Larent Terzieff, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Nathalie Baye, Aurelle Doazan, Claude Brasseur, Alain Cuny, Julie Delpy

In one noble hotel the fates of different people are intervened; detectives Isidor, Aureille and William are with the help of cameras observing the guests because of a murder that was committed two years ago in their room. Isidor is dressing as a waiter and is in love with Aureille, but she is in a relationship with William. Jim Fox Warner, a manager, owes a fortune to a mafioso so he decides to bet on a boxer, but he is too preoccupied with his lover. Fox also owes a lot to Emile, who distanced himself from his wife. In a showdown, the mafia kills Fox and William. Aureille falls in love with Isidor.

After "Week End", Jean-Luc Godard temporarily retired from the big screen, working mostly on TV during the '70s. In '80s, he returned to film making, but with weaker calibre and sophistication. His crime drama "The Detective" is a confusing mess: despite it's genre, the movie doesn't have suspense at all (!) because the protagonists are only statically philosophising, creating a boring and inert mood. Actually, Godard was never able to create suspense in his films, even when he killed some of his characters, because he was never interested in reality but in surreal art jigsaw, and his characters mostly seemed like robots or puppets. It's hard to explain how the film and the director were nominated for a Golden Palm in Cannes for just offering a correct job, except for the fact that Godard wasn't nominated earlier when he was in better shape. There are a few nice scenes to be found, however: in one, the mobster's little daughter is reading the "Time" magazine with the headline; "Showdown with the mafia". A man is training the boxer by throwing tennis balls at him which he hits and catapults back. A man asks his colleague on the computer: "How many times have I said that I'm tired since my birth?", on which he replies: "23.500 times". A sympathetic nonsense, "The Detective" has a very big oscillation of rhythm, seeming just like an exercise, so his grade is only sufficient.


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