Angel-A (2005)

“Angel-A” (2005)

IMDb

quiet Besson

This is sweet, it’s sugar. It’s tender, and it touches me. I’m always deeply moved by what Besson does. He has some qualities i don’t recognize in any other french filmmaker: he trusts his intuition, and he is not pretentious. I think the second is a consequence of the first one. I also think he is a misread director.

He doesn’t develop his films around specially clever or complex constructions, in terms of narrative or story telling. But he builds everything in the eye, he is purely visual in his narrative and in the mood he creates for his films, and that’s what i truly enjoy about him. He has visual ideas to grab the useless stories he tells. But the stories, though superficial and mundane most of the times, help him build his cinematic mood, in the same measure the story helped Hitchcock. One good way to prove i’m right is to see some of the films Besson wrote without directing. Usually we’ll find action flicks, brainless, useless. What he writes only makes sense when he directs it. That’s why we have action scenes in his films (not this one). He is not actually an action director, not in my dictionary. But he is always misread and many times even dismissed as one.

Here he tries something he hadn’t done before (he always tries new things). He doesn’t use so much the camera work (in some moments i even doubt he was behind the construction of the shots) as the creator of the mood. He tries to use the city, and photograph to do that.

The first shot is clear and tells us all. We have a character telling lies about himself, and immediately after suffering physically from those lies. A man trying to be himself. He’ll get a sexy blond to help him, and the romantic involvement that one expects. That’s all. It’s superficial, and i discarded the interest of the storyline right from the beginning. You have to focus on the colours. this is not black and white, this is desaturated colour, with a predominance of blue. It’s subtle, it’s as subtle as usually the camera moves are with Besson. But i really missed those deep movements, which explore space as if a city was the under sea world so deer to Besson, which he already filmed. This one is sweet, but not much more. I needed more of the Reno-Portman relation of Léon.

My opinion: 3/5

This comment on IMDb

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