7 June 2015 | rogerdarlington
A stylish thriller revisiting classic territory
In the late 1960s and early 1970s drugs were flowing from Marseille to New York in a sophisticated and sustained operation. The Americans made two movies about the racket: "The French Connection" (1971) set in New York and "The French Connection II" (1975) located in Marseiiles, in both cases with Gene Hackman famously playing the police crime-buster. French cinema too has had two cracks at telling the story: first with "The Judge" (1984) and then with "The Connection" ("La French" in French) in 2014.
In the French films, the hero is not a policeman but a magistrate, in "The Connection" played by played by Jean Dujardin, best known outside France for his performance in the silent film "The Artist". The role of the chief criminal is taken by Gilles Lelouche. There is a short scene where the two meet alone which is reminiscent of the cafe scene between Al Pacino and Robert de Niro in "Heat". "The Connection" is not one of the the classics like "The French Connection" and "Heat" but it is a stylish, if clichéd, thriller with hand-held camera-work and atmospheric soundtrack adding to the impact.