Wednesday 29 April 2009

La Femme Nikita (Nikita) [1990]

La Femme Nikita might be the movie Luc Besson is most widely remembered by, and also one of the key features of the Cinema du look movement, its in-your-face stylizations, bizarre plot developments and over the top action sequences made this glossy French flick a no-brainer for me. The movie is about Nikita, a gauche and violent junkie, who is transformed into a sexy, lethal assassin. The movie is pumped with a heavy dose of adrenaline with testosterone-fuelled scenes that were supposed to be visually exuberant, but turned out to be no more than cringe inducing. Had the director kept it simple, it might have been two hours of fun; unfortunately, he introduced a lot of psycho-babble and pseudo-character developments that weren't commensurate with the ludicrously hyper-violent tone of the movie. What Besson perhaps didn’t realize in the first place was that, given the kind of disgusting character he chalked out for Nikita in the first third of the movie, viewers would never view her pangs of conscience and complex moral dilemma in the remaining two-thirds with empathy or understanding. Perhaps the only saving grace of the movie, apart from its slick look, was Jean Reno’s memorable cameo as a laconic ‘cleaner’ – his mere presence added a layer of dark humour in this otherwise callous and inane post-noir.

Director: Luc Besson
Genre: Thriller/Action/Spy Movie
Language: French

Country: France


Amit said...

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alpez said...

dude...i completely disagree...maybe u tend to find too much meaning in sure u hate pink floyd!

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Adrenaline and all that Jazzz said...

Besson's Nikita is a work of art that explores the human predicament and even suggests something close to salvation.
I really liked this one; but that's just me!

muthu said...

I disagree with you.... the more psychotic a character is depicted, the more you can see that the character is not hard hearted and has pangs of consciousness disturbing her.

I kind a felt that showing that you can make a killer out of the blue... is a bit not believable but other wise the movie was the best of luc besson.

you should try angel-a by luc besson. i kind a liked the cinematography.... the camera and colors were divine....

Shubhajit said...

@Hopeless Romantic:
Thanks buddy for your appreciation. Yeah, reviewing some of the yesteryear classics of Bollywood has been there on my mind too.

The problem with this movie was exactly that - Besson tried to incorporate too much meaning into the movie, but failed to portray any. And just for the record, though I'm not overtly into Pink Floyd as some of my friends are, I'm not averse to them either.

@Shantanu Das:
Perhaps you are forgetting, there's recession out there ;)

You're right, to each his own. I'm sure you have a bigger company than me where liking/disliking this movie is concerned.

That's the point - the Nikita's character is too inconsistent. The arch she travels from a disgusting, unrepentant and utterly loathsome junkie to a smart assassin with pangs of conscience and guilt feelings, was too abrupt and unrealistic. Will check out the Besson flick you mentioned.

alpez said...

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Shubhajit said...

Thanks man, thanks a lot. Do keep visiting.