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[ACADEMY SUBMISSION] 'The Shining City of Crime' Review: Triumphant Return for Director Charrier

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16 JANUARY 2021

'The Shining City of Crime' Review: Triumphant Return for Director Charrier

'The Shining City of Crime' is a brilliant return to form for Director Andre Charrier following a string of mediocre movies. With a star-studded cast and brilliant writing, this movie is sure to be a hit with Fravi audiences.

The cast, starring Luis Thomas and Emilie Lambert, bring dramatic gravity to the movie. The two actors play off of each other well with quick wit and banter, bringing much needed levity to an otherwise bleak film. Set in pre-revolution Ville des Cristaux, when the various mafias and mobs ruled the city, the film explores how they affected the lives of ordinary people and workers in the Shining City.

The dramatic film is about Pierre Lenoir, a detective played by Thomas, who seeks to take down the notorious mobster Joseph Vautour. Following Lenoir is Alice Heroux, a police officer played by Lambert, who works with Pierre , but tries to convince him that chasing Vautour is a fool's errand, and that he would just end up dead in a ditch somewhere.

The movie twists and turn as it follows Pierre and Alice's investigation as they chase down leads throughout the city. As they continue to investigate the mobster, the pair run into Alice's old cop buddy, Claude Boucher. Alice instantly has tension with Claude, but Pierre trusts him greatly, believing he has information the two need to catch Vautour. 

Over the course of the investigation, Pierre and Alice grow closer and eventually fall in love. This plot climaxes as they arrive at the port together for a dinner to discuss evidence, which eventually turned into a date.

After Pierre Lenoir has collected all the evidence he needs to indict Vautour, he arrives at his office with Alice Heroux and Claude Boucher to check over the evidence. As they arrive in the office, Claude tries to convince the detective to not release the evidence. When Pierre refuses, Boucher takes out his pistol and shoots him in the chest. As Alice yells out and begs why of Claude, he simply responds, "I wouldn't have had to shoot him if you had just done your damn job," as he shoots Alice in the head.

While this ending may seem out of left field, small clues are sprinkled in throughout the story. Despite this, during a first viewing, the ending left a sour taste in my mouth and still does. While I adore the rest of this movie, the ending to it is absolutely horrendous, and is definitely an exception to the excellent pacing of the rest of the film. The conclusion is overly bleak and depressing.

However, the absolute desolate ending may have been a purposeful move on the part of Charrier. As a dedicated Socialist, Charrier may have been emphasizing how capitalism turns the working class against each other for the sake of monetary gain.

However, the rest of the movie is an absolute masterclass in great writing and directing. Each character seems fully realized, and the investigation is incredibly enthralling. The actors also play off each other really well, and were excellently cast. 

Overall, I rate 'The Shining City of Crime' an 8.5/10, and it is so far my favorite film of the new year.

Edited by Fravina
Messed Up the Title (see edit history)
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