User Reviews (8)

Add a Review

  • After the screenplay disappointment of Persona non grata (2019) directed by Roschdy Zem and aired very recently in the French movie theaters, Roschdy Zem excels this time as an actor in this thriller/whodunit directed by Arnaud Desplechin. His aura is obvious. Without forgetting three other characters excellently interpreted: his right-hand man (Antoine Reinartz) and two John Doe as strange as shady (Léa Seydoux and Sara Forestier).

    The film articulates around the daily life of the police station of Roubaix, in the North of France, between Lille and the Franco-Belgian border. Thus, two local events will occur concomitantly: a banal rape and a coldly abject murder. The film becomes magisterial during the interrogation between the police inspectors and the suspects and then the cross-examination, without necessarily equaling the quality and the intensity of Garde à vue (1981).

    As a synthesis: a pleiad of excellent actors in an unaccomplished film.
  • don_nazarino13 January 2020
    It may be the most exciting uninteresting film I've ever seen. The use of music and diptych dancing in blue and orange colors seem to be the main character. Something about Zem's relentless persistence also fascinates without anyone understanding why. I'm not a fan of Desplechin, but this film gives us mysteries without ever really unpacking them, with a confidence in the viewer that is becoming rare.
  • Commissar Yacoub Daoud knows his multicultural community. In fact he was one of those migrants himself once upon a time, but now calls northern France home. We follow him through his busy days on the job as he investigates a disappearance, an arson and a murder with some unexpected results.

    Director Arnaud Desplechin does slightly provocative serious dramas with a lot of dialogue. He had had mixed results over the years, with his film Ismael's Ghosts being a confusing mess according to some. Here, however the artistry gives way to an intelligent cop movie, where the realism hits a sour spot. While OH MERCY! feels fresh, there's nothing innovative about its approach. This is how they made procedural police films in the 80's, only instead of Roschdy Zem you would have gotten Lino Ventura.

    Talking about Roschdy Zem, this is one of the most versatile modern French actors, who has a unique presence in action, comedy or serious drama. He and Lea Seydoux, who plays one of the girls tangled in the murder investigation, carry the film forward, delivering intensity and realism. The movie is drastically different from what we are used to in cop dramas coming from USA, and this may be one of the good reasons to give it a try.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    What started off as an atmospheric, almost noir type of interesting movie, turned into an overlong, ridiculous murder mystery.

    It does have the benefit of having an interesting leading character, Commisaire Yakoub Daoud, played to perfection by Roschdy Zem (who reminded me a lot of Barack Obama). All of the other characters are yelling and screaming at each other, while Daoud is a calming influence.

    The mystery of the murder at the heart of the film is actually kind of tedious. I truly believe it would have been more interesting if they cut 20 - 30 minutes going from one place to another, then back, then to the station, then back to the place where the murder took place, then...oh, never mind.

    Too boring. 6 out of 10
  • I was deeply bored by this however interesting film, a social drama, not a real pure crime flick although; a kind of Ed Mc Bain's novels atmosphere, the police procedural around a murder case, where Roschdy Zem could be a kind of Lieutnant Carella. I was bored because that's not my cup of tea. But that's ony a matter a taste. I prefered GARDE A VUE though. And POLISSE. There is here a tribute to LE CERCLE ROUGE with the lonely cop chaaracter living with a cat pet; remember Bourvil, in Jean Pierre Melville's masterpiece. And Lea Seydoux gives here another astotishing performance as a young lesbian, a kind of tribute of <hat she did in LA VIE D'ADELE, back in 2013. Good acting and directing, but not my kind of films.
  • OH MERCY! was easily the most inconsistent film I've seen all year.

    It's description of 'A police chief in northern France tries to solve a case where an old woman was brutally murdered' starring Lea Seydoux sounds like a potential recipe for success, but none of the more interesting aspects of the film are focused on and instead what we get is a two hour long police procedural that doesn't seem to know what it wants to be.

    The film goes from serious to almost comical at points, dealing with horrific crimes and then playing out good cop/bad cop scenes that are cartoonish to say the least. It's shooting style jumps from one to the next, one second it's all very shaky handheld, the next it's all very smooth tracking shots. Lastly the score seems to be taking pages from everywhere, with Dheepan and The Revenant being ones I heard almost copies of within the film. I call these inconsistencies because there's no point within the film that leads me to believe that these jumps in tone, shooting style or score are there for any artistic reason or to enhance the point of any scenes, it all just comes across as random.

    The main issue I had with this film was it's pacing, the first half of the film is spent introducing characters and looking at half a dozen crimes which ultimately don't have anything to do with one another. Everything is played out incredibly seriously, there are some monologues from a new detective commenting on the way of the world these days, but because we're not given any information on the police officers working these cases it's nearly impossible to care about what's going on.

    The second half is then spent looking at the murder in the synopsis. We see some characters being tracked down, clues are found and eventually an actual suspect is brought in, we see some brilliant performances in the interrogation scene and things pick up slightly, but after a quick confession I was left confused and then back to bored. The confession itself didn't seem to make much sense in the moment, which is partly the point, you're in a space of unknowing and left trying to figure out whether the culprit is covering for someone else, which is why the interrogation scene works so well. You're in the headspace of the police chief at that point, searching for any inconsistencies in their story and watching for any subtle hints of a lie, but when the rest of the film doesn't clue you in on really why the murderer did what they did, it all seems pointless.

    We get trickles of information about the police chief, but throughout the entire film he seems happy and well adjusted with his job and life, and by the end of the film he hasn't changed in the slightest. As with the new detective, who I thought may have been scared slightly by the nature of the old woman's murder, but nothing has changed for him. Every character is incredibly two dimensional and it makes it very hard to care about what's going on at all.

    I understand that this may have been the point of the film, I actually like the idea of having a police film look at everything these detectives have to go through, and the only real part of the story is just a drop in the bucket of what they have to deal with each week. It contextualises the struggles the police have to go through in an interesting way and looks at the impossible task it is to get out of the cycle of crime for the poor people in these cities. It's just a shame this idea wasn't better realised by letting us learn about these character's internally whilst they try and solve the mystery.

    Check this one out if you're interested in seeing a great performance from Lea Seydoux and Roschdy Zem, but this one wasn't for me - 4/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Petit film par le sujet, peut-être sauvé du naufrage par le réalisme ethnique, cependant un tantinet excessif, surtout sur la misère justement synonymes d'ethnicité, mais aussi de femmes isolées, avec un soupçon lourd d'alcoolisme, d'absence de travail, et pourtant plusieurs caractères ethniques sont sauvés des accusations d'autres pas ethniques du tout parce qu'ils travaillaient quand on les accusait de commettre un crime. Mais dire que Roubaix croule dans la misère est faux car Roubaix a une économie de marché noir à faire frémir. Il est vrai que comme cela est bien connu, justement des flics, les plus gros trafiquants dans ce domaine ont dû se déplacer vers quelques banlieues plus lointaines, mais pas Tourcoing car Roubaix est Algérien kabyle et Tourcoing est Algérien arabe. Mais Lille, Wazemmes par exemple, ont quelques moyens dans ce domaine.

    La vision de la ville est absurdement squelettique à tous les sens. On ne voit rien de la ville. On voit une station de métro déplorable alors que la ligne 2 est quasi neuve. On nous montre une courée en état de délabrement sans pareil, mais où ont-ils trouvé cette ruine ? C'est au mieux un squat. Il y a 25 ans les courées étaient en voie de disparition et il n'en restait guère qu'à l'Épeule. Mais de Roubaix même vous ne verrez rien, une vague image en fond d'écran avec la mairie toute en lumière artificielle et c'est tout. Le nouveau commissariat, certes non, les grandes avenues absolument pas. Même le Parc Barbieux n'est peut-être même pas le Parc Barbieux, le Beau Jardin. Et ne parlons pas de la langue. L'accent du Nord, le picard de Roubaix ont disparu. Une ou deux expressions et c'est tout. L'accent lui-même effacé au profit d'un accent français sous-standard homogénéisé et un accent magrébin digne de Belleville ou du 93. Lamentable.

    La délinquance de Roubaix c'est le marché noir, le trafic de drogue, mais en plaque tournante, la prostitution y compris de jeunes adolescents, plus que de jeunes adolescentes. Le textile est parti. Il a commencé à brûler à la mi-années 70 quand j'arrivais à Roubaix, et quand elles ne brûlaient pas, les usines, elles étaient fermées de toute façon. Où est la lainière ? La Redoute ne fait pas ou plus dans le textile. Et pourtant la ville est devenue une annexe des universités de Lille avec plusieurs départements installés en dur dans des bâtiments ou usines historiques, sans compter les Archives du Monde du Travail. Ne parlons pas des écoles supérieures d'Arts Appliqués et des BTS de haut niveau, audiovisuel ou informatique, sans oublier le Fresnoy, centre de formation audio-visuel et cinéma qui recrute à niveau licence au niveau européen.

    Les une ou deux familles magrébines montrées dans le film ne correspondent pas à ce que ces familles sont, et je ne pense pas que les choses aient changé à ce point depuis vingt ans. Roubaix a simplement souffert d'avoir été gouverné de 1880 à 1983 par des socialistes, communistes et autres partis de gauche extrémistes dans le discours classe contre classe avec des vedettes dans le domaine comme Jules Guesde (il a sa statue et sa place quelque part, et pour faire plus récent, Emile Duhamel, le dernier adjoint au maire communiste de 1977 à 1983. Et ce discours a été tellement efficace avec grèves et autres perturbations de toute production que le patronat a préféré importer de la population étrangère de façon régulière depuis le 19ème siècle jusqu'à « toujours » des Flandres belges, les « pots-au-burre », comme on les appelait en ce temps là :

    J'n'aime pas les pots-au-burre Tout l'monte comprindra cha Ch'est la peste et j'vous l'jure A Roubaix y n'a qu'cha

    puis Polonais (la seule église catholique polonaise de France est à Roubaix, puis magrébins avec sélection « naturelle » au profit des Kabyles et Berbères, plutôt que de continuer à employer des ouvriers à niveau CAP au plus, et encore parfois maigre, mais qui exigeaient d'être payés comme des techniciens au moins moyens. L'augmentation du smic en particulier a tué la ville en faisant fuir les travailleurs français de la ZUP nord-est pour les villes de banlieue, puis les quartiers standing moyen du centre-ville de l'Avenue des Nations Unies, une folie de planification urbaine de l'ère socialiste séculaire. Et les meilleurs, s'entend les enfants, ont quitté Roubaix aussi vite qu'ils le pouvaient pour leur éducation supérieure et pour leur carrière professionnelle.

    Si vous n'êtes pas dans le marché noir de pièces automobiles ou de drogue, vous n'avez rien pour vous. Si vous êtes sans qualification, mère célibataire, un peu handicapé, beaucoup penché vers la bouteille de bière, ou plus fort, vois devenez un squatter dans des conditions infernales et vous n'avez alors pas d'espoir et donc pas d'avenir. Et personne ne s'occupera de vous, sauf la police bien sûr. Si le commissaire concerné dans le film est lui-même arrivé à Roubaix du Maghreb quand il avait sept ans et qu'il a su monter un peu dans la société, au point d'être attiré par la police qui a une Ecole Nationale de Police justement à Roubaix depuis le début des années 1990, vous avez de la chance car il ne va pas vouloir vous massacrer. Mais il vous tirera les vers du nez, même si on devrait dire les verres du nez, vu que vous buvez de la bière au petit déjeuner et du Wambrechies pour réussir à sortir at aller chercher votre pain quotidien, si vos pensions diverses at aides alimentaires ne sont pas taries pour un jour ou deux. Mais comme le film est à Noël les restaurants du coeur marchent à fond. Coluche est bien la coqueluche de ces « pauvres ».

    C'est le discours misérabiliste réformiste en vogue dans les milieux petite classe moyenne, moyennement éduquée et totalement coupée de la réalité réelle. Il fait si bon de rester dans le cocon de la réalité corrigée des variations saisonnières. On aurait pu faire un autre film sur Roubaix, et définitivement sur le sujet de l'aliénation sociale. On a fait là un truc qui sera mort dans à peine douze mois.

    Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU
  • I saw this film before I saw the documentary film that was supposed to "inspire" this film. I say supposed, because an inspiration in my opinion is a starting point that we distort and around which we embroider, outside here it is rather an unassumed remake taking up word by word the documentary film and the details of the sets. Speaking of reality here, not a movie, making it an "identical remake with actresses is morally out of place. When I read the reviews about the script and and the storyline's irrelevance of unrelated business, or the quality claiming the film for an ethical police the arms fall to me. Watch the documentary film by Mosco Boucaut "Roubaix, central police station before criticizing this film, because they were content to do the same again but with actresses instead of real protagnists. Total nonsense ...