French Movie Reviews: The Professional

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French agent Josselin Beaumont was sent to the Malagawi to perform the Chairman Njala. But a few days later, the political situation and the interests of France are transformed: Njala should especially not be murdered. Remind Beaumont, the Service rather than turn him into the president. After brainwashing, Beaumont was tried and sentenced to death, a sentence commuted by the president in a period of “rehabilitation.” Beaumont eventually escapes and, two years after his departure, he joined the France president Njala is on a diplomatic visit. It sends a message to inform the Service to carry out its mission in three days. A chase begins, leaving Beaumont alone in the face of his former colleagues and the ruthless Rosen of the intervention Brigade Commissioner.

Analysis and criticism

Between the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s, in a period where it is at the commercial height of his career, Jean-Paul Belmondo is a rhythm of a metronome. Once a year or almost, he is the poster of a big production between the registers of the thriller, adventure and comedy film. The “vintage” Belmondo the year 1981 is The professional, third consecutive collaboration of the actor with Georges Lautner. It will be their greatest public success together, and one of the best achievements at the French box office Jean-Paul Belmondo, topped only by The ACE of ACEs the next year – and by The brain for which he shared the poster with Bourvil. Recognition in the room is not the guarantee of critical attention. Quickly the limits of professional are highlighted, the point of seeing it now considered a small film, or even worse. Scenario ruined, characterization of questionable characters, grievances that are worn are often sensible and hard to refute. It is possible to love this film, the author of these lines is living proof. Faults objectives, there are what take a sincere pleasure to the vision of the professional.

Starting as a film that will plunge into the murky waters of the Françafrique, The professional moves away little by little the political debate to turn into a much more classic movie featuring the tracking down of Josselin Beaumont by the French secret services and intervention Brigade led by the ruthless Rosen. This simplification of the subject can be seen rightly as one of the significant weaknesses of the film. French cinema is missing a great movie on this aspect of our country’s diplomacy and the first minutes, serious and realistic, leave wishing it was this one. This net change in the tone of the film is a reflection of chaotic writing. Michel Audiard, which focuses first on the professional scenario, but the famous dialogue writer is cornered by the book of custody, and his work does not have the production and John Paul Belmondo. Would be so involved in the correction of the screenplay Jacques Audiard, the son of Michel, and Francis Veber, known for its ability to script doctor. The role of one and the other is difficult to define, but it is evident that these complications have had a significant role in the inconclusive result that we know. However should not forget what must be, at that time, a movie featuring Jean-Paul Belmondo. His public triumph is associated with a specific type of films and characters that are incompatible with a production of a broad political. As will say Jacques Deray during the promotional campaign of Marginal two years later: « when the public sees Belmondo, he wants to see Belmondo. » In other words, he wants to see fights, stunts, humor and seduction and a capable character solely by the strength of his arms and his malice to overcome many adversities. The return of Beaumont in Paris, after a quarter of an hour of the film, the character quickly returns in the vein of those regularly sung by the actor, as evidenced by the ridiculous scene where disguised as a tramp, he plays with the vigilance of men of Rosen.

Once the hunt for the open man, we are in a pure movie hero, typical of the films made at that time by Belmondo who punctuates the action of punches and punchlines of variable quality, sometimes funny and sometimes heavier, as the famous replica of the ‘ couscous chicken. ” The character of Beaumont is a purely personal approach. He has no ambition to overthrow the French government or denounce political and diplomatic derivatives. He wants revenge, without real political consciousness, as will confirm his final speech to the president Njala. And if we accept that The professional is not the movie, it could have been, but a pure thriller of action, it is clear that it works much better than you think in. Beaumont is a lonely and particularly endearing hero whose fate unfolds with speed and efficiency to the screen. His adventure is enameled of few extravagances, as his spectacular exit basic apartment, but this type of scene that would swear in a movie unilaterally serious and realistic is quite acceptable in the direction that taking The professional. It must be admitted, even these scenes that make the jubilation of the viewer attached to see Belmondo triumph over all his enemies in spite of their material superiority, even by sometimes ignoring the likelihood.

Centered on his hero, The professional leaves little room to his other characters. Only Rosen stands, bad guy scoring interpreted by a Robert Hossein particularly comfortable in this type of job is used. The film regularly criticized the characterization of its characters. Often stupidity of the antagonists of Beaumont, unable despite their ways to get hold of a single man, is put forward as one of the significant weaknesses of the professional. We have seen, if we accept the slight bias of the film, it seems to us that these characters are not shocking. Regularly, the critics also evoke the place of women in the movie and some archi-caricaturaux roles such as police lesbian; and we must admit here that female characters are not the point strong professional, often served, in addition to their writing, by a forgettable, even mediocre interpretation when it comes to Elisabeth Margoni in the role of women in Beaumont. One thing is sure: an actor dominates head and shoulders the casting, it is Jean-Paul Belmondo, the absolute star of a movie which is like all those that it turns at this period a vehicle to his glory. Perfect in demonstrations of strength and charisma, he gives the character of Beaumont real thick, and it seems difficult not to love and understand this man seeking retribution.

For movies that it runs for and with Jean-Paul Belmondo, Georges Lautner doesn’t show Visual ambitions that were his during the first part of his career. However, he can’t imagine his staging is lazy. Brilliant technician, it highlights the physical prowess of the actor during stunts and fight scenes and gives the Professional significant pace and efficiency. Offer us also a few excellent sequences, among which we will retain all the early scenes in Africa, where it multiplies the beautiful ideas, including this plan where the camera slowly up the wall on which Beaumont has its days of captivity. And then we also quote the memorable final scene where Lautner used brilliantly the decoration of the castle of Maintenon to offer us a very emotional moment. Also note a more anecdotal moment, one where Beaumont delivers to the so-called Volfoni a superb right on its doorstep, clear echo to the scene of Tontons flingueurs. Beyond the blink of an eye, this element looks like a way for Lautner to situate The professional in the filiation of a funny movie, clearly showing its intention to make a light film. Finally, it is difficult to talk about The professional without talking about his music. For better and for worse, and even if it was initially composed by Ennio Morricone a decade earlier for the film Maddalena the theme Chi Mai is inseparable from the film. It is legitimate to consider that it is used to excess, dressing many scenes, and if unfortunately its power has been worn by dint of diversions advertising and parody, still all one of the most iconic themes of its author and one of the most moving ritornellos of the history of cinema. As a whole, the soundtrack composed by the maestro Italian is also brilliant and contributes enormously to the emotional dimension of the film.

   

Once is not custom, I will conclude this text in the first person of the singular. In front of goals the film defects, it was impossible to defend otherwise than to a subjective point of view. The professional is not a masterpiece, and the disappointment he generates after the first 15 minutes is understandable. I don’t want to judge him as a failed political film, but for what seems to be: a typical movie of the golden age of Jean-Paul Belmondo, one of the best, able to get chills every vision and move me systematically during his final When the order is given to finish and notes of Ennio Morricone to take us to his relentless conclusion. The professional is questionable, and may legitimately be regarded as a failed movie. I think it can also be loved like a simple, efficient and well-run, entertainment whose most typical scenes are likely to stay longer in the mind of the Viewer.

Check out our post about the classic French movie Les Miserables.

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