The Connection (DVD)

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The Connection (DVD)

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Review of "The Connection (DVD)"

published 29/08/2017 | thedevilinme
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"Heat, French style..."

The Connection (DVD)

The Connection (DVD)

Star – Jean Dujardin
Genre – World Cinema > Crime
Run Time – 135 minutes
Certificate – 18
Country – France
Amazon – £5.99 DVD
Awards – 2 Wins & 4 Nominations
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The Connection is a French drama based on the true story of the rise of a drug baron in 1970s Marseilles and the battle with the law, the connection being the cities mob ability to move the drugs on from North Africa to New York, and right under the cop’s noses. The Corsican crime lords were brazen down there but like everything else, the global economy coming down the line pushed down prices and Afghanistan took over the world heroin and hashish trade. It’s believed Francs didn’t get too involved in the war in Afghanistan in the belief that the country that now supplies 90% of the worlds heroin would spike the prices in France, and so the crime rate, if the American led coalition seriously curtailed supply. 40-years on from the bloody 1970s drug trade in France they felt they got to a balance today where the price on the street is manageable. But Libya falling to Islamic bandits and factions has encouraged the Corsican's to try and increase drug supply from North Africa again. Interesting, the rise of Islamic extremism in North Africa means it’s also the biggest route for cocaine movement now, out stripping the traditional South American one to the west.
Cast

Jean Dujardin ... Pierre Michel
Gilles Lellouche ... Gaëtan 'Tany' Zampa
Céline Sallette ... Jacqueline Michel
Mélanie Doutey ... Christiane Zampa
Benoît Magimel ... Le Fou
Guillaume Gouix ... José Alvarez
Bruno Todeschini ... Le Banquier
Féodor Atkine ... Gaston Deferre
Moussa Maaskri ... Franky Manzoni
Pierre Lopez ... Jean Paci
Eric Collado ... Robert
Cyril Lecomte ... Marco Da Costa
Jean-Pierre Sanchez ... Fabrizio Mandonato
Georges Neri ... Charles Peretti
Martial Bezot ... Le Gitan

Plot

Its early 1970s in Marseilles, the city infected by a brutal drug gang importing morphine from Turkey, turning it into street grade heroin and exporting the product to Manhattan, New York under the name of ‘la French’. The gang in question, led by Gaètan Tany Zampa (Gilles Lellouche), has a nice little sideline by doing extortion and robberies, nightmare for the local cops.

Respected Juvenile Court judge Pierre Michel (Jean Dujardin) who often deals with the effects of addiction in young people is transferred to organized crime and narcotics in the city, but soon discovers la French's crimes are near impossible to pin on them. The cops investigating the heroin trade has nothing much to report and some on the take. Its time to shake them up.

Following a tip off given by one of Michel's informants, a heroin-addicted young girl called Lily( Marie Le font), they arrest a one Charles Peretti (Georges Neri), an old Corsican chemist who produced heroin for la French back in the day. But he is old school and refuses to give names or locations or information, preferring to spend the rest of his life in prison. The gang murders Lily and her friend, Fabrizio Mandonato, Peretti's nephew, just in case he changes his mind.

Enraged by the killings, and because the judge can’t find out nothing relevant about the gang, the Judge orders all lower levels of ‘la FrenchÂ’ arrested to put the squeeze on the operation. Zampa, feeling menaced by the new judge, suffers insubordination by one of Tany's lieutenants, "Le Fou", breaking with the gang and attempting to take some of Zampa’s business. Bad idea, Le Fou (Benoît Magimel) shot and badly wounded by Zampa and his men, but escapes from hospital and begins a bloody feud, killing some of the gang's leaders. He, to, is enraged, retaliating brutally killing innocent bystanders at the gangs bar. Fearing all out gang war, the judge appeals to the procurator to deploy nefarious methods to end it all, Michel managing to get illegal surveillance on all the criminals involved in the feud, hopefully avoiding the confrontation between Zampa and Le Fou…

Results

I quite enjoyed this and although we don’t get too down and dirty with the drug gangs and brutal cops with some needed blood and bullets it’s still exciting and stylish to see and enjoy. The cops are cool, the villains are cooler, no Clackers and flares in 1970s France. It’s loosely based on the Marseilles drug gangs and so the main villains and cops and Judge a construct or sorts but no doubt this stuff want down then.

The Subtitles are as concise as the look and soundtrack and not too many of those subtitles to worry about. In fact it’s pretty impressive how they recreated the city in the 1970s as I can tell you now it’s very different in 2015, when this was made. The acting also has that 70s authenticity with echo’s of some of the classic crime noir of the period. Ok it’s not La Haine or The Prophet but its worth a visit.

Director Cedric Jimenez has gone for big collars, 'pleather' jackets, sideburns and Gitanes smoking cool cops and robbers to make this work as the story is pretty predictable. I wanted a bit more detail, violence, narrative and more dimensions to the cities lead characters, like you had in Heat, which this is clearly referencing to stoke up the story. Jean Dujardin ( The Artist) and Gilles Lellouche are right up there with Pacino and Deniro in European cinema to be fair and do the business.

It cost a surprisingly cheap $1.8m dollars and did $10m back, not bad but worth more of a crowd for its bold ambition. It would probably make a better mini series on Netflix if the truth be told but no doubt they have already done that. I watched Narco’s, about Pablo Escobar, and ten hours of subtitled DV is hard work. ‘Carlos’, about Carlos the Jackal, and French crime drama ‘Mesrine’, starring Vincent Cassel’s, are well worth a look.

RATINGS


Imdb.com – 7.1/10.0 (7,234votes)
Rottentomatos.com –76 % critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – 67% critic’s approval
Trailer

http://www.imdb.com/videoplayer/vi2366812441?playlistId=tt2935564&ref_=tt_ov_vi

Special Features


-Deleted Scenes-

-Premier-


The French love a premier as the cast take to the red carpet in Paris


A few

-Gallery-


-Web links-

Critics

Globe & Mail –‘A byzantine, if ultimately conventional, heroic tale that feels like a guided tour down a familiar alley’.

The Mail –‘There is ample photographic evidence that the '70s were not, in fact, the best-looking, coolest decade ever. But you wouldn't know it from watching The Connection’.

Arizona Republic –‘It may prove too slow for some and the meandering can be a little maddening, but overall it's worth the effort’.

Chicago Tribune –‘While the story lacks focus here and there, the film never feels overplayed. It's a work of bloody style and solid substance’

The Times –‘It starts with gunshots - a Mercedes and its driver are riddled by motorcycle-riding assassins in broad daylight - and the pace of "The Connection" is bang-bang brisk most of the rest of the way’.

Nashville Scene –‘The movie's strength is in its conception of Michel and Zampa, who develop a destructive rivalry, rooted in their mutual determination to prove their superiority’.

The Film Stage –‘Excels at playing with expected genre conventions and crime story boilerplate to shrink a globe-trotting incident down to, essentially, a strategic game of cat and mouse’.


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Comments on this review

  • euphie published 19/09/2017
    e :o)
  • brittle1906 published 12/09/2017
    This sounds an action packed and intriguing movie x E from me
  • CGholy published 05/09/2017
    ex
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Product Information : The Connection (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Country Of Origin: France

Genre: Drama

Classification: 15 years and over

Actor(s): Jean Dujardin, Gilles Lellouche, Celine Sallette

Sub Genre: General

DVD Region: DVD

Director(s): Cédric Jimenez

EAN: 5060105723025

Production Year: 2014

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Listed on Ciao since: 21/08/2017