Sunday, December 26, 2010

Complices (Accomplices) 2009

Accomplices is a movie that is deeply layered.  On the surface it's a who done it.   A murder mystery about a boy whose body is found flooding in the Seine.  On the other hand this movie is about so much more.  We meet out cast of characters first as two detectives investigating this young boys death, and then we meet the boy in flashback.  The two stories move forward until they meet at the end.  In between the story arcs we get to know the characters.  Our two investigators played by Gilbert Melki, as Hervé Cagan, and Emmanuelle Devos as Inspector Karine Mangin really bring a three dimensional feel to their characters.  Both these actors play so real that you really get to know them, and in a way care about them.  Both detectives are in their mid 40's and they have been on the job for some time.  There seems to be a bit of chemistry between the two, but the movie isn't about that, and doesn't dwell on that aspect of their relationship.  The other story arc is about the young boy who turns out to be a male prostitute (Cyril Descours) , and his young lover Rebecca (Nina Meurisse).  As both stories move forward we come closer and closer to the truth, and who killed the young man named Vincent.

What we do know is that the young man dies, and Rebecca is missing.  As the two inspectors delve deeper into the mystery we are also privy to some intimate details of the inspectors.  How similar they both are, and how each of them carry a burden that almost seems to overwhelm them.  The film is directed by Frédéric Mermoud who does a very good job at weaving the two tales together and creating characters that have depth.  The movie feels real.  It is the only way I can describe it.  There is no artificial prompting of audience's emotion through dramatic close-ups, and music swelling at times.  No your emotions for the characters are genuine, and not forced.  You care for each one, and you feel vested in seeing what the outcome can be even knowing that one character dies.  In the end when we find out the truth we also feel for the victim of the crime, and somehow Frédéric Mermoud does this masterfully.

The performances should not be also overlooked here.  Both Gilbert Melki, Emmanuelle Devos, Cyril Descours, and Nina Meurisse give exceptional performances of their characters.  I bought their characters hook, line and sinker, and maybe that's what makes this film so special.  The reality of the film.  I even want the young lovers to succeed in their relationship even though I know one is doomed if not both.  In the end

Frédéric Mermoud does a wonderful job in rapping the plot up in a very satisfying way.  That is no small credit and credit should be given to both Frédéric Mermoud, and Pascal Arnold who both wrote the film.  It is hard enough to create an engaging plot but to create characters that we are drawn to and interested in is a sign of good writing.

I would be remiss here to not list all who bring this tale to the screen and contribute in a very unsung way.  The photography by Thomas Hardmeier makes you feel that you are witnessing a glimpse in the lives of the unsung, the reflections in the Seine river are breathtaking without being distracting.  Sarah Anderson's editing does a great job in pacing the movie and making the two story lines converge.  Then there is Grégoire Hetzel score which does not intrude into the movie making us aware of it.  It instead makes you feel the emotions that run through our characters.  Each one has a loneliness that they are trying to desperately reach out of but can't.

I can go on and on about this movie, but I really think it should be seen.  The ending will make you feel satisfied even though the subject matter is a bit hard to witness, and difficult to comprehend.  What I really took away from this movie was it's story about love, and loneliness.  From the two inspectors investigating a simple murder to the relationship between Rebecca and Vincent.  All four of these characters will stay with you for awhile after watching the film, and a good movie is suppose to do that to you.  Highly recommended.


Anonymous said...

What do you think was going on at the end? Do you think Rebecca was his kid, or do you think he was trying to get a bootycall?

Karl said...

I don't think it was a bootycall at all, and I don't believe Rebecca was his kid, but I do feel that the detective felt sympathy for Rebecca. Also the converstation they have he talks of growing older, and throughout the film that is a motif, so I feel that he and Rebecca have bonded in some strange way through the investigation of her boyfriends death. At least thats how I interpret it.