Mesrine (2008) – Killer Instinct / Public Enemy #1


This French language crime drama portrays the real life tale of gangster Jacques Mesrine. Killer Instinct is the first part in a sturdy two-part series. Directed by Jean-François Richet, part of the story is based on the autobiographical book L’instinct de mort (Killer Instinct) by the gangster. The second part – Public Enemy #1 – is more into his criminal career after his escape from prison with many more scary yet fascinating moments of his life.

For all those who love this crime or gangster genre of film, may or may not find this on a par of “The Godfather” (Francis Ford Coppola), which is certainly now a reference point for many filmmakers of this genre. Nevertheless, the two-part of Mesrine is very much acceptable considering the celebrated and histrionic criminal lifestyle of the character in play.

Mesrine Killer Instinct Trailer – Trailer

Coming to the storyline, Jacques Mesrine was a famous French bankrobber, murderer and kidnapper, who was known to escape from high security prisons and who spent his final moments as a fugitive before finally gunned down by a special task force. As per critical view of this movie, majority critics find the acting of Vincent Cassel, as Mesrine, as one of his finest performances till date.

Vincent, one of France’s top actors and who has won a César for his work, is the fitting choice for this role. He is simply electric in his portrayal of a notorious, horrible and unsympathetic yet epic character. Mesrine was not just another gangster or robber, he was very media savvy with his self-styled philosophy of life that never respected law of the land, rather he enjoyed his publicity as one of the most celebrated public figure of 1960s and 70s France.

The film is all about his life, lifestyle, friendship and relationships. At the end of the first part, you will not only find that it has transcended your expectation but also set yet another bench mark in the art of film making. The second part, too, carries forward the impression of an anti-hero persona till the life of the celebrity criminal ends with a bloody circle.

Cast: Cecile De France, Elena Anaya, Gerard Depardieu, Gilles Lellouche, Roy Dupuis, Vincent Cassel

Mesrine 2008 film – Theatrical poster



This post has been written, edited and published by the Cinecelluloid editorial team.

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