HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Moonchild
Verite, La
Guilty, The
Stranger in the House
Redcon-1
G.G. Passion
Chien Andalou, Un
Boar
Bulldog Drummond
First Man
Machete Maidens Unleashed!
Cannibal Club, The
Grasshopper, The
Searching
Human Desire
Climax
Stiff Upper Lips
American Animals
Outlaws
Venom
World on a Wire
Velvet Buzzsaw
Picnic
Dick Dickman, PI
Hunter Killer
30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock, The
Race for the Yankee Zephyr
Boys in the Band, The
Brainscan
T-Men
   
 
Newest Articles
He-Maniacs: Ridiculous 80s Action
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
Alf Garnett's Life After Death: Till Death... and The Thoughts of Chairman Alf on DVD
Balance of Power: Harold Pinter at the BBC on DVD
Strange Days 2: The Second Science Fiction Weirdness Wave
Strange Days: When Science Fiction Went Weird
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
   
 
  36 Quai des Orfèvres Choose Your WeaponsBuy this film here.
Year: 2004
Director: Olivier Marchal
Stars: Daniel Auteuil, Gérard Depardieu, André Dussollier, Roschdy Zem, Valeria Golino, Daniel Duval, Francis Renaud, Catherine Marchal, Guy Lecluyse, Alain Figlarz, Vincent Moscato, Anne Consigny, Stéphane Metzger, Solène Biasch, Aurore Auteil
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: It is late at night and a couple of motorcycle riders with helmets obscuring their faces are taking down a street sign. As a couple of cops approach, they speed off to a local tavern where a party is being held, and everyone there gets to sign the stolen goods. The assembled sing Auld Lang Syne to the guest of honour, Eddy Valence (Daniel Duval) and he is suitably touched, however, this is not a criminal gang but the police celebrating Eddy's transfer. While they do so, a new armed robbery is being planned by a real gang who have no scruples, and soon detective Léo Vrinks (Daniel Auteuil) is involved and butting heads with Denis Klein (Gérard Depardieu), his rival for the top job.

The deeply sombre 36 Quai des Orfèvres was based on a true story, the experiences of ex-policeman turned filmmaker Olivier Marchal from his time in a French anti-terrorist squad. Everything up to the "seven years later" last half hour was drawn from his life, and if the life of a lawman is as soul-crushing as it is depicted here, Marchal was good to be out of it. Outside of its home country, the film tended to be described as the French version of Michael Mann's Heat, largely due to the pairing of two heavyweight stars in the lead roles.

Yet while the two main characters in Heat were on opposite sides of the law, in this they're both supposed to be fighting for justice, and unlike the American film there is no grudging respect between them. They're markedly different in some ways: Vrinks is popular with his men but not above bending the rules when it suits him, while Klein is a loner, without allies but with a steely ambition. When one of Vrinks' snitches takes him out for a drive one night, the evening ends with the detective as witness to him shooting down some rivals in cold blood - but there's another witness, a prostitute who flees the scene unnoticed by them.

If there's anything that soothes these troubled souls, it's the women in their lives, and Vrinks relies on his wife, Camille (Valeria Golino) to keep him sane when he's dealing with violent robbery (which we see staged at the beginning) and unlovely scoundrels almost every day. This means that when events do come to a head and his law bending catches up with him, Vrinks finds himself tragically without that woman to lean on and help him through his darkest days. And he believes it is all Klein's fault, making the simmering ill-feeling between them apt to boil over.

36 Quai des Orfèvres is filmed in muted colours and in an atmosphere of such gloom that it is a hard production to get excited about. The misery that permeates every minute can make the occasions when the characters find a small oasis of comfort oddly endearing, but for the most part it is the twists and turns that lower Vrinks deeper into his hell which dominate the drama. The thriller aspects, like the gunplay and shootouts, are handled with a ring of authenticity in that there is little romanticised about them, but the plotting offers a sheen of sophistication that might otherwise not have been there. Marchal called it a modern western, as so many thrillers after the mid-seventies were, but it's a more adult, morally shadowy variation rather than a simple black hat-white hat affair. Music by Erwann Kermovant and Axelle Renoir.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6144 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
   

 

Last Updated: