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Acccording to Francis Ryck, the novelist whose the book was adapted from, the director Daniel Duval was drunk on the shooting and only a girl friend of his told him what to do on the set. The female lead Marlène Jobert was very upset and left several times because of this situation. See more »
Not the obscure gem I was hoping for
Jacques Villeret plays an obnoxious, annoying criminal, who panics during a heist and kills everyone in his sight. He escapes, travels around, rests in an hotel, gets discovered, takes hostages, escapes again.
I had some hopes of this unknown crime film with this intriguing title. But the first minutes I was sure I was watching a comedy. This was also influenced by the appearance of Jacques Villeret, the comedy hero of Diner des Cons, and the over the top acting (and wigs and fake mustaches) in the heist scene. But, it wasn't. It was a serious crime film.
I think it was meant as an artistic interpretation of a crime novel from Francis Ryck. And there are a couple of slightly interesting scenes, especially in the first part. The conversation with the waiter in the middle of the night, the bizarre dance of an old lady in a bar, the conversation with a whore. The confused and violent character of Valentin is surprisingly well acted by Villeret ('I like to have a room with a view at the sea.' 'But there is no sea here, sir.'). Marlene Jobert and Bruno Cremer are both decent as well.
But all in all, I guess it isn't interesting enough for a whole film. It's not gritty enough for being a serious crime film, it's not comical enough for being a black comedy, it's not psychological enough for being a portrait of a mad man. Bits and pieces, about 30, 40 minutes, are worthwhile. It reminded me a bit of the film Roberto Succo (2001, Cedric Kahn), which I found better in almost every aspect.
Effraction would be Daniel Duval's last directing endeavour (until his comeback in 2006, with his autobiographical film Le Temps des Porte-Plumes). In the meantime Duval was actor, specialized in playing dubious characters (for example his role as Szabo in TV drama Engranages), working with Tavernier, Ozon, Haneke, Marchal. He died two years ago. I rate this 6/10, mostly for trying.
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