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Le Samourai (Criterion Collection) back to product details

Noir Masterpiece
written by Bean October 31, 2005 - 12:03 PM PST
5 out of 7 members found this review helpful
The impeccably simple, sparse scenes and dialogue are deceiving. "Le Samourai" is a masterfully controlled film-- it twists and turns, each frame a gorgeous rendering of emptiness, yet bit by bit they form layers of complexity and food for thought. The driving force here is Jef Costello (played by Delon), a stone-faced assassin. During the first 15 minutes, Costello seems a bit of an amateur, revealing nothing as far as personality, but drawing attention to himself amidst a city of darkness with his smoldering, intense good looks, wearing a beaming look-at-me trenchcoat. There's a witness to his crime. An obvious mishap to what could have been a clean kill. Or has he allowed himself to be seen? You soon realize that this is no amateur, that he is subtly and inexplicably aware of minute details, and uses this ability to elude everyone. He is a thing of beauty that cannot be captured. He's deliberate, polished, and otherworldly, making all others seem oblivious, chatty, even sloppy in comparison. In stripping away the layers of eye candy excess, Director Melville elevates the outcast, and reveals a deeper mystery in the space of silences and what is seen/not seen. This film is a showcase for anyone who loves deconstructing cinema, and refreshing to watch today, amidst so many movies that overstimulate yet say nothing.


(Average 7.56)
121 Votes
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