Monday, September 22, 2008

Bob Le Flambeur

This film by Jean-Pierre Melville was a great "gangster film". In many ways it fit right into the gangster genre. It was released in 1958, and filmed in 1956.

The main character Bob, is broke. So he decides to pull off a big job, of robbing a casino. He portrays the typical gangster, commanding every one's respect, being known everywhere he goes. He seems to have his own table at the local bar.

Bob is a character that many could identify with. He seems like a typical gangster, yet does things that one does not expect. For example, he clearly likes Anne, yet he never tries to sleep with her. he does however, allow her to come and stay at his apartment. He also has a prodigy named Paolo, whom he is grooming to be much like himself. Paolo likes Anne, and so Bob lets him take the lead with her, he only treats her as a friend or sister. You can however, clearly see he cares for Anne in the scene where they are dancing. He very well might like things to go further, but he cares for Paolo too much.

We see how much he cares for Paolo when at the end of the film, Paolo is killed. Bob runs out of the casino and lays Paolo's head in his lap, while he quickly grieves for him. Bob is sad that Paolo had to die, especially when he realizes that if he had shown up when he was supposed to Paolo's death may have been avoided.

The night of the "job" Bob goes to the casino ahead of time to scope things out. While there luck has another plan for Bob. he decides to gamble and wins a fortune, basically all that was in the casino's vaults (therefore defeating the point of the heist.)

Clearly this film was very influential. As in Breathless, when Michele is trying to get his check cashed, he is told that if Bob the gambler wasn't in prison, he would cash it.

This film was enjoyable all the way through. One could get lost in the gangster genre very quickly, as you never know what will happen next.

No comments: