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ANGEL-A, 2005
Movie Reviews!

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Angel-A, MOVIE POSTERAngel-A, 2005
Movie Reviews

Directed by Luc Besson

Starring: Jamel Debbouze, Rie Rasmussen, Gilbert Melki, Serge Riaboukine, Akim Chir, Eric Balliet
Review by Lauren Medley


SYNOPSIS:

This is the story about a beautiful and mysterious woman by the name of Angel-A who helps an inept scam artist get his game together. The two spend a memorable summer night in nearly deserted Paris where Angela exposes herself as a true angel, sent down to save Andre from himself. André finds himself falling in love with this mysterious beauty.

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REVIEW:

If you look through Luc Besson's Filmography you will see a definite theme, most of his films are quite violent and action orientated: 'The Transporter', 'Leon' and 'Frontiers'. So the last thing you would expect of such a critically acclaimed director to do, would be to create a romantic comedy and succeed. Angel-A is just that, it is not just a romantic comedy but a masterpiece of film making.

Compared to Besson's previous works, this is completely new and innovative on many levels, the genre is most certainly a romance, but with elements of comedy thrown in. Some of sequences in the film are so dry and humorous because it seems like they are not trying to be amusing, for instance the scene where Angela ( Rie Rasmussen) is 'persuading' an underworld boss to drop Andre's ( Jamel Debbouze) debt is hilarious due to the way it is so calmly and innocently portrayed and how well the script is written.

The plot focuses on Andre, an unlucky man who has done some shady dealing with some shady people and wants nothing more then to start a new life in America, but before he can leave he is caught by the very people he is trying to avoid. While he cannot find help anywhere he gives up hope and decided to try and commit suicide, while he is about to throw himself into the Seine, he sees a beautiful woman next to him about to jump too. When she jumps he jumps in too and saves her life, only to discover she is in fact an angel and has come to help him get his life back on track.

The film looks like a film noir but plays out like a romantic comedy, this mixture of genres works in Besson's favour and the film is stronger for it. As the Noir style of cinematography works in some of the films more romantic and quiet scenes, such as the scene where Andre and Angela drink coffee and she tries to convince him that she is in fact and angel and of course the films beautiful and moving finale, which I won't spoil. The whole film has been meticulously thought out down to the last detail and is visually fantastic even though it is in black and white. The more dramatic scenes also benefit from the Noir style of cinematography as it enhances the drama and tone of the piece, it is almost as if this film wouldn't work in colour as it would spoil the premise of the film.

Angel-A is a film that didn't receive the acclaim it deserved, while being received well by critics it didn't have the publicity it needed on its release and as such as become more of a cult hit in certain areas, although it could certainly show a few film makers how it should be done if it had received a nationwide cinema release. This film is testament to film makers thinking outside of their comfort zones to create something new and innovative and remind people what cinema can portray on scene, the message in Angel-A being life is better then anything.

The acting is superb in this film the two leads Rie Rasmussen and Jamel Debbouze have great chemistry on scene and it shows in the more emotional scenes, again in the finale it shows the most. Each actor brings a great character to life on screen and while some scenes could have had cause for over acting, neither actor does and they light up the screen in all of their scenes with their banter and normal conversation.

Angel-A is a film for those who love life and adore a good romance, actually it will also appeal to those who don't like romantic comedies, as this film has it all a great plot, humour, drama and just that added little bit of violence. This is a film that can easily become a classic and should rightly be considered so and could easily be Luc Besson's masterpiece.


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