Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Army of Shadows

As German troops march on the Champs-Elysee (in one of the great movie openings), members of the French Resistance plot, traffic in contraband, bear torture, face death, escape confinement, and smoke out informants from their own cells. Jean-Pierre Melville's tense, gripping and personal Army of Shadows is a thriller told with meaning and purpose with no delusions of happy endings, false hope, and phony heroism, dealing instead with self-sacrifice in the face of an apparent losing battle. The film is, however, almost too murky and atmospheric and with a thriller of this sort, despite its realistic intentions, i don't think it would have hurt to have been plotted a little more deeply.
*** 1/2 out of ****