Le Samouraï

Le Samouraï ★★★★★

A fedora. Whisky. A trenchcoat. Cigarettes. A chiseled face. Add them all together and what do you have? Jef Costello - the coolest motherfucker on the planet. With a face often draped in shadows, and a blank stare cold enough to win a poker hand while holding fake cards he made at home, he's the ultimate assassin. The kind of guy that, if he came up to you in a bar, stole your girlfriend straight from your arms and took her home with him that night, you'd be ok with it. Sent to a nightclub to carry out a contract job, his usual stealth ability escapes him, leaving witnesses, and the police are soon after him.

This might legitimately be the downright coolest film I've ever seen. It oozes suaveness, just watching it made me want to light up a smoke, head down to the local chic bar and try out my best Joey Tribbiani "how you doin'?" impression. Everything is brilliantly low-key yet unbelievably tense at the same time - Costello and the alibis he's set up being questioned by the police, the chase through the metro, the grand finale. In a modern blockbuster these same scenes would be filled with explosions, an overly shaky camera and constant dialogue, but here the action is within the mind, with each character trying to silently out think the other. Melville crafts an utterly compelling film out of seemingly so little, everything feels grand yet subtle all at the same time. I'm very surprised it took me this long to watch this, the influences this film had are very clear and it's just really damn good. Off to sell all my technological devices that have clocks so I can purchase a watch, wear it on the inside of my wrist and only tell the time of day through that - Jef Costello style.

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