Thursday, January 19, 2012

"Point Blank" (Language - French) (2010) - Movie Review

“Point Blank” does not wait a moment to screw around. It has a mind of a organized person and completes the film in a beeline. That makes this formulaic, predictable and done-a-million-times action thriller into an enjoyable high adrenaline, at times touchingly emotional film. Fred Cavayé directs with absolute energy. Hesitation is not what you would get in his screenplay which he co-wrote with Guillaume Lemans.

Samuel Pierret (Gilles Lellouche) is that innocent person filled with good and bubbling with prospective future with his pregnant wife Nadia (Elena Anaya). His life will of course take a turbulent turmoil because he rescued a man at the hospital. He is a nurse aide and he will soon be a nurse or doctor. The man he rescued is Hugo Sartet (Roschdy Zem) whom we see escaping from couple of madly motivated thugs when the film begins. What results is Nadia is kidnapped and held as hostage unless Samuel frees Hugo. This is how simple the story begins.

Soon enough there are cops, good and bad, very clearly identified work through the maze of buildings, windows, public places, elevators, escalators, train station and the police station itself chasing for these two. This French film cannot escape the comparison of “Tell No One”, another high octane yet emotional action thriller where the hero runs like hell. Gilles runs and jumps and the film does justice to chase scenes not with ridiculously impossible stunts but logically genuine choreography executed with sense and care.

“Point Blank” is the most ordinary plot I could think, yet it works it like a professional. We assume Sartet is good at start but he is ill fated for Samuel, then we see another side of him but we are not sure. Characterization is the least bit of attention in films like this but the actors here truly believe in them and bring out a faith in performing it even amongst the maddening stunts. Hence we not alone root for them but associate closely with their perils. Especially the bond between Samuel and Nadia which usually gets dissolved and compromised in the mill of entertainment becomes a caring genuine concern in the end when she is struggling deeply and in the midst of a possible miscarriage. What a careful sense of emotional balance director Fred Cavayé does that so that they do not become the melodramatic annoyance and come forth as two people in true dangerous situation and vehemently love each other.

One of many reasons “Point Blank” works is that the characters do not become mere puppets in an action flick. At the same time they do not overstep their responsibility. The balance act of this makes it a study in executing a perfect screenplay for a thoroughly well disciplined film. There is no unnecessary obligation or elongating an explanation. Everything we need to know are out there and are explained/solved instantaneously.

For all its nuances and perfection, the film offers nothing new either. While Fred Cavayé knew exactly what he was making, I think the potential nature of this terrific film maker made me yearn for more but this is not the film to discover and meander for deeper meaning. What you see is what you get. Not a millimeter more or less. You get absorbed, you get enthralled, you get to your edge of the seat and you leave with a content happy ending.

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