Le Samouraï

Le Samouraï ★★★★½

A slow-burn. Everything is traditionally slow – Characters are slow, they talk slowly, they move slowly, and also they kill slowly. Slow, but Le Samouraï is a masterpiece - great and effective. I would understand Samouraï as a masterpiece in a perfectionism manner, not a perfect one. Perhaps you would bother to get tangled in mysterious wet dream of the movie; you would witness Samouraï in wonderment.

The film follows a professional killer named Jeff Castello (played by Alain Delon). Just like the movie, Castello is a perfectionist. Before and upon murdering a person, he would set things up in a way that it is near impossible for the police force to track him down. But things went horribly wrong somehow, and the plot started to complicate from there. The plot is simple and straightforward, and moves in an intentionally bland way, but undeniably effectual, all due to Jean-Pierre Melville’s insightful development of the characters and details. The film is dreadful and deliberately crawling though, due to Melville’s methodical approach for the film. I say it again – the artistic crime-thriller works in a perfectionism manner.

Alain Delon. Trust me; the film would not be as effective if other mediocre actors have played the part. The character is cold, unsympathetic, and he never talks much. Jeff Castello refers a comparison with Client Eastwood’s character ‘The Man with no Name’ from the trilogy of the same name. Delon has a very strong screen charisma – his crisp physical features, his intimidating voice, and his stylishly smart performance – entirely directed for prime actions. The screenplay too was cleverly written, and the entire supporting cast supported absorbing performances. The film’s shots are mesmerizing in capturing the bleak streets and the predicted bleak future of the character himself.

Samouraï strikes well in dealing its artistry and charm. You would want to have a ride in a world with suave characters and style, or to be allured by its bland-but-interesting perfection, because the film is indeed dreamlike.

Score: 3/4

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