15 December 2005 | alf-50
I guess it's not that easy to make a 1-2 hours script on such a character, but I'm afraid that the choices made by the production were wrong from the start.
This movie tries to depict how Arsène Lupin became who he is. It tries to give some of the keys which lead him to his extravagant life. But even in this attempt, everything is wrong. Arsène does not kill ? OK. But this is given to the viewer as a fact from the beginning. And the whole film tends to push him into criminal revenge for all the bad people he has to suffer from. I mean by this that his character is already forged, so the movie does not hint you how, and, on the contrary, everything that happens to him leads to no consequence about it. Then, what's the point ?
The way I picture Arsène Lupin is as a very smart gentleman. Even if he is nothing but a bad boy originally. This is why the choice of Romain Duris surprises me a lot. He seems like a good actor, but he looks much more as a bad boy than as a smart English gentleman. He's got a forced smile on a tough face, when Lupin always has this mocking smile. I agree though that this point could be discussed for hours as the original book character was a bit of both.
Finally, Lupin's character, even if he's an opportunist guy is very clever and usually thinks ahead a lot. He is not the kind of guy to run straight ahead inside a trap. I would have liked to see more "Ocean's Eleven" in it. In this movie, he is more reacting to the events than making them happen the way he planned it.
All in all, it's a nice movie with good acting and nice sets (I've been very surprised with the "Place de l'opera" with a 19xx look), but it is not very fair to the quality of the book character.