Boss is dead. Hail to the new boss!

If Copola’s Godfather is a classic in all means and most of following big silver screen mafia stories were literally following it’s genre-defining, hum, “godfather”, it’s obvious that the Cosa nostra genre needs a solid refresh.

The French action and cops films are something I personally don’t see raison d’entre in general. It’s like having snails ala California. Yes, there are probably some exceptions, like with the good mongolian indie-rock bands.

The less I believe in refreshment of mafia movies or in realness of french crime films the more I stood up in complete amaze last night in Mat Kino seeing Un prophète – The Prophet, a french mafia/crime/gangster/drama (more tags would be more appropriate) film by Jacques Audiard. Two and half hours of unusual tension inside of my body, staring at the screen, having no idea where the story turns next second, being blown away by the realness and believability of characters, cast, dialogues, scenes, costumes, locations, soundtrack, theme and overall execution and I left the cinema totally excited!

The realism meets surrealism. While the whole story is well told using realistic to naturalistic tools and you can see, feel, smell and touch roughness of a french prison, the surrealistic element of a ghost of a killed prisoner and dream/phantom sequences bring to the film even more believability and seriousness, which is strange, unseen and masterful.

The life path of a young, 19 years old arabian punk leading through the walls of a prison to heights of a mafia boss has no single gap I would be able to notice and which would disrupt me from drifting on a magic carpet of crime done with honesty, ease, bravery, brain and …a natural prophecy.

I am not an experienced film director, my work is far away from what we are talking about right now, but despite that I have some self-esteem as a moving pictures artist and I do believe in my ability to tell a story. But seeing The Prophet I was left behind clueless and puzzled with no idea how I would put a film like this together. Apart from I’ve already talked about like casting and story, the editing, the camera and the overall dramaturgy is outstanding and simply perfect. Together, hand in hand, Audiard and his team created one of the best movies I’ve seen, probably the best crime drama at least of the decade and definitely a milestone for both, the genre and the french film. Winner of Grand Prize of the Jury in Cannes and nominee for Golden Globe, the film you must see.

We have a new boss. And he’s a prophet.

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Martin Destroyer

Skype: martindestroyer

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