Friday, April 22, 2011

The French Connection

1971, 103m

I ventured on this film, drawn by Gene Hackman, multiple awards, including best film, and the expectation of a sizzling thriller. The expectation is but minimally fulfilled. The twists and turns of the plot are not self explanatory, nor worth the effort of sorting out, and the constant motion of men and cars is just about bearable. Towards the end the film builds up to a gripping climax, as the drug smugglers are cornered--more would be telling. The film is famous for it's chase sequence, as a car tries to keep pace with a train hijacked by a killer. Apart from that, we have attractive shots of a French town, an exquisite villa jutting on the French seaside populated by an attractive young female, even though all this is ill begotten luscious fruit of the narcotics trade. We also have glimpses of the culinary preferences of high profile crooks.

Highly forgettable and missable, proving that old gold is sometimes not so golden. Or maybe one has become harder to thrill.

10 comments:

Jack L said...

Well, I liked this one a lot, it's one of my favourites actually and was released in one of my favourite years for English language cinema, 1971, such a great year...

Well, we can't always agree I suppose. And I assume you won't be watching The French Connection 2.

S M Rana said...

Is there a sequel? How does it compare? I always find sequels hard to resist!

This wasn't edge of the seat stuff for me but the end, the last half an or so, was engrossing enough. And slightly disappointing the bearded guy got away. I was hoping he would get what he should have had coming to him, with that sea side villa, grand food, and blonde!

Jack L said...

Yeah, most people consider the sequel to be vastly inferior to the first film, but I think it holds up very well. But if you didn't like this one then you probably will dislike the second...

It all takes place in France, but Gene Hackman reprises his role.

You should watch it to see if the bearded guy gets his comeuppance or not ;)

Nathanael Hood said...

Oh well...I liked it.

Also, you can't deny it's historical significance, especially for its revolutionary car chase.

S M Rana said...

rflAnd then there is that commandment, "If there be a sequel, thou shalt see it." Otherwise it gives that unbearable hollow feeling in the pit of the stomach of having seen half a movie. So I surrender to my fate, rather than toss about restlessly in my grave!

Jack L said...

Well, you might be pleasantly surprised, it may sound similar at first but the sequel is actually rather different, the setting and supporting cast are rather exotic compared to the first one, but the story is a continuation of the first...

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it!

kaist455 said...

The French Connection 2 is not bad, but it pales compared to the intensity of this classic movie.

The movie is a little bit dated, but the car chase scene has lost none of its power.

S M Rana said...

I have to see at least te chase again to relish the finer details!

Greg said...

Yes, you need to see it again. Two things that haven't dated are Hackman's portrayal and that car chase.

S M Rana said...

I guess I will have to bow to peer advice!