Film review Les Miserables (15)

PUBLISHED: 09:11 27 August 2020 | UPDATED: 09:11 27 August 2020

Les Miserables

Les Miserables

Archant

Not the Victor Hugo musical but a darkly comic noir about a rural cop’s first day on his new beat patrolling a Parisian slum estate

Les Miserables Les Miserables

This Les Miz is a feature-length Le Bill, in which a cop from the sticks who has moved to Paris, spends his first day on the job getting ragged by his new partners as he tours his beat – a slum estate in the suburbs.

The story starts with the search for a lion cub stolen from a circus and escalates alarmingly. During the day, he gets to deal with various community leaders, sees the numerous faultlines in this society, and is shocked by his partners’ abuse of power.

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Although it’s treading a familiar beat, it does so effectively. It’s a compelling drama but with plenty of black humour; fierce, but not polemical.

The mark of the film is that everybody can see what they want in it. The police prejudice is so ingrained that even the black officers have taken it on, while viewers of a Le Pen slant will be alarmed at a world where the Muslim Brotherhood is the moral authority and will have all their prejudices confirmed about the failures of multi-culturalism.

4/5 stars

Directed by Ladj Ly. Starring Damien Bonard, Alexis Manenti and Djebril Zonga. In French with subtitles. In cinemas. Running time: 104 mins.


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