Le Samouraï

Le Samouraï ★★★★

Jef Costello is an expert assassin who lives a solitary life in Paris. During his latest assignment he makes a fatal mistake that could cost him not only his freedom, but even his life.

Ultra-stylish, compulsively watchable crime thriller, directed with an iron fist by film noir visionary Jean-Pierre Melville. The camera constantly follows our protagonist doing the most mundane tasks while he is preparing the hit. But Melville shoots everything in such a gritty, unglamorous, but visually compelling way that we just can't take our eyes off the screen. We almost become unwitting accessories to Jef's plan. And the game of wits that begins after he completes his mission is even more fascinating.
One can say that the other significant character in the film, besides Jef, is Paris. Rarely has the City of Light been presented in a more unflattering way. The seedy underbelly of the metropolis is presented unflinchingly and in meticulous detail.

It's hard to imagine someone else as the lonely and emotionless hitman other than Alain Delon. His appearance with the icy blue eyes and impeccable 40's attire just oozes steely determination. Jef is a man that will stop at nothing until he gets what he wants. He is lucky enough to have a worthy adversary in Francois Perier as the police inspector who doggedly pursues him.

It's no coincidence that "Le Samourai"'s influence can be felt even today. It remains as fresh and modern-looking as ever, another piece of evidence that style and substance can coexist in the same movie and complement each other.

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