Wednesday, April 27, 2011

French Connection Part 2

1975, 119m

This is a film which perfectly fulfills the purpose and expectation with which one sees it, namely an easy watch and to kill time idly. The ground was all ready well prepared by part one, which was actually half a movie, since the villain, a really slimy figure (see image) whom one heartily desired to see receiving his deserts, got away at the end, which was rather unfair on the viewer, and hence the sequel was almost mandatory. The present one takes off in exact sequence, and everything takes place in the cheerful and elegant surroundings of Marseilles, in contrast to the dark interiors of NY in Part 1. A novel feature is the enforced drug addiction of the hero when he is captured by the crooks, and the subsequent painfully comic de-addiction process. Gene Hackman as a goofy cop obsessively chasing his quarry, the rivalries and exchanges of the French and US police, finally ripening into respect, and the language barriers faced by the American, make this a rich and riveting entertainment. Comparing with Part 1 seems pointless, since they are like two halves of a film (even though directors are different), and in any good film, the second half is invariably more enjoyable.


Jack L said...

I agree, they really shouldn't be compared as they do complete each other.

I also thought the difficulties with the language barrier were quite humorous at times, and I liked the whole "fish out of the water" aspect of Hackman's cop in France.

S. M. Rana said...

Jack L:

It was an enjoyable two-hour-some.

It was certainly more cheerful in the ambience of Marseilles than NY (that's an Indian viewpoint). Also I felt such a stylish villain was treated with respect and finally disposed off in a dignified manner, instead of being thrashed around like a headless chicken, as is the usual practice towards the end.