Friday, 30 May 2014

MAY 30, 2014

LES LYONNAIS/Gang Story (2011) Directed by Olivier Marchal. ***

One of my favourite genres is the French gangster film, especially the classic films of Jacques Becker and Jean-Pierre Melville. The characters in Melville's films seem to live their lives as though they were in an American film noir while Marchal goes for a grittier realism. GANG STORY is based on a real life gang of gypsy criminals who operated out of Lyon (hence the original title) and concentrates on two life-long friends, Momon and Serge. Momon has become a sort of Godfather figure while Serge, more impulsive, has been on the run for thirteen years. When Serge is captured Momon finds himself torn between his more settled life and his loyalties to his old friend and is slowly drawn back into a world of violence. The film is convincing on all levels and I must say I liked it better than MESRINE although I wouldn't like to disrespect that film which is a classic in its own right.

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