FanPost

Movie Night - Polisse

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There seems to be a lot of movie fans on this site, and being the slow time of football year, I thought I would give a shot at creating a weekly (as time permits) movie review. While I haven't come to a firm decision on a template, I hope for this to bring attention to independent or under-promoted films, entertainment for the readers, and as a general weekend open thread.

As for the review, I'll give a general synopsis, trying to avoid too many spoilers, and rate the film in several categories using a football play rating system (I've not seen this before, so hopefully I am being original here).

And oh boy do I have an inspiring and uplifting opening film for you guys!

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I’ve recently watched the film Polisse, which won a jury prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and is scheduled for a limited release in the States May 18th. For those of you whom are fluent in one of the lesser languages, have at it… http://www.polisse-lefilm.com/

This film takes place in the Belleville neighborhood of Paris, and follows the members of the Child Protection Unit (CPU) of the police force. Directed by Maiwenn (High Tension), who also plays the role of a photographer (Melissa) assigned to documenting the unit on their daily routine.

In order to capture a lot of the intensity and personal interactions, this was filmed with a lot shaky-cam work of which I’m not a fan, however, it helps capture the intensity of their cases and interactions with each other. By adding in the outsider character (Melissa), we can relate to her and view the group from her perspective, which provides for a more emotional, interactive experience. Many of the cases in this film were taken from actual events in the CPU. The people who take on this type of job are deserving of admiration and respect, but we gradually are exposed to their flaws and sometimes inferences as to their child-hood experiences that have led them to this profession. Also, we are @shockingly forced to believe@ that the other enforcement agencies look down upon CPU and that they are often lacking for resources.

Cinematography/Direction: 20-yard pass play to get you to mid-field.

I often find it hard to separate these two categories so I’ll just combine them. The shaky-cam while not my favorite, does add to the energy and intimacy of the film. By having the photographer character it allows the viewer to relate to the anxieties of starting a new job and everybody else knowing each other and feeling like the outsider.

Acting: Field Goal Made

Strong performances all around but with so many characters it’s hard for anybody to truly stand out.

Date Night: Punt on first and goal to go.

Pedophilia, child nudity, spousal infidelity, there is absolutely nothing romantic about this film, unless you are turned on by horse-mouthed people sloppily kissing while tears and snot run down their faces.

Music: 37-yard Kevin Kelly FGA, you figure out the percentage for success.

There is one song that I cannot get out of my head and that is "Stand on the Word". Now, if I were some arrogant critic I would tell you that the director is making a social commentary on the value of religion in a world where people do horrible things to children. Well, I’m not, and without spoiling, the unit goes through a trying time and then receives some good news, of course this is "good news" because something terrible has just happened, but isn’t that like real life?

Likeability of Characters: 7-yard pass completion on 2-10. Puts you in a decent position to continue the drive, but you still might fail.

While I don’t need to like characters to like a movie, and it’s tough not to like people who want to help abused children, I find it hard to ignore all the infidelity and the humor they find in a teenage girl not realizing the boundaries for acts necessary to recover material possessions.

Overall: Game-winning defensive stand.

While the raw emotion of a student section trying to will a game winning missed field goal is hard to ignore, you would rather hope for a better showing and a charge to win the game.

The highlight for me was the "Stand on the Word" unit celebration; a complete release of energy and tension after a trying time. One thing that is not readily apparent is the passing of time. The director did chose to have a character become pregnant which helps one realize all this drama isn’t occurring every day but it is not obvious and along with the tough emotional drama, this is a worthy film to watch, but you need to be prepared, as there is little happiness to be had. <!--EndFragment-->

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