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2014年12月12日 星期五

Le Dernier Diamant (The Last Diamond) (終極鑽石)

I have seen many stories of love, stories of various kinds of marginal people, stories of politics and a murder but never any traditional crime stories. So it's a welcome change to get a hour of so of pure suspense from an action packed film "Le dernier Diamant" (The last diamond)(終極鑽石) by Eric Barbier ("Le brasier" 1991, "Le serpent " 2006).

The plot looks simple, while on parole from jail, the burglar Simon (Yvan Attal) meets his buddy Albert (Jean-François Stéverin) who tells him of his plot to steal the "Florentin" (one of the biggest diamonds in the world which got missing mysteriously during WWII, a diamond said to be accompanied by a curse because it always brought bad luck to its owner but which is now estimated at least 40M Euros) when it's due to be auctioned at Antwerp by Julia (Bérénice Bejo), as arranged by her recently widowed father. The carefully worked out plot was executed almost perfectly, just as planned with its plan A and plan B. But there's a twist. Whilst the burglars are celebrating on a yacht, all of Simon's gang got killed by two of their Russian co-partners in the burglary but Simon and Albert escaped. With the help of Julia, to whom Simon showed some clear evidence of implications of his father with a shady foreign diplomat involved in previous jewellery thefts, they try to get the Florentin back by switching a near perfect replica of the real diamond with the original when the original is due to be exchanged for money(Julia's father having obtained possession of it by robbing Simon's gang through their Russian burglary partners in the yacht) to the real buyer, a Russian. In the end, with some hiccups, the real diamond is recovered and Julia got her man.
As in all such crime stories, the order in which we learn about the relevant "facts" are absolutely critical. In that regard, Eric Barbier did an excellent job. There's one surprise after another to keep us at the edge of our seat for the greater part of the film. On top of that, we got some amorous looks, some kissing and its bedroom sequels from a most unlikely love story between Simon and Julia, but then who really expects such romantic interest to be credible in the first place.  It's another "burglary" of the century film with a twist, but hardly original. Both Yvan Attal and Bérénice Bejo are competent but not exceptional. We do have some excellent cinematography however by Denis Rouden and some matching music by Renaud Barbier and more than an hour of suspense, which after all, is what we are looking for.  I have little to complain about.