Watched May 05, 2012
I can't imagine Alain Delon playing anything other than this role. Le Samourai, the lone hit-man, is quiet, professional, and sparse. Everything he does is detailed, calculated and minimalist. He is the personification of the bare room in which he lives. The cinematography is gorgeous, presenting Paris in the 60s, but always with a focus on one particular detail. If the shot is inside a nightclub, its focus is always on one of the characters. If it is of the streets of Paris, then a character or a character's car is at the centre. Every shot in the film is precise and focused on telling the story--nothing is superfluous. Because of this, the film is very fluid; the shot may be static but it always contains movement, action, even if it is simply the subtle change in expression of a jazz pianist.
The plot flies by a bit too quickly near the end but it's ok. By then you are so mesmerized by Jef Costello that your only concern is with watching him negotiate the details of a tricky situation, and doing so with panache.
And that is a mighty fine hat he's wearing.
Part of the Sunday Mornings with Coffee Series