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'Two Men in Town' ** 092305
The Work = **
The film’s director Jose Giovanni served time on death row himself and I suspect that his experience helped to give the film the feeling of authenticity that it has when it deals with the life of an ex-con. I recently read Edward Bunker’s novel 'No Beast So Fierce' and in one respect 'Two Men in Town' reminded me of it. Both the film and the novel deal with ex cons and they have some serious pent up rage. At one point in the film Gino becomes so frustrated that he runs to a junk yards and starts smashing up car wrecks with a sledge hammer.
I liked the performances in this film, particularly Delon and Gabin. Gabin seems to look at events with a certain amount of sadness, as if he thinks the outcome will not be good. As strong as their performances are and as good as some scenes are the film as a whole just didn’t work for me. Gino ends up meeting his nemesis in the form of a policeman who is still bitter about Gino’s past life of crime. Their conflict comes way too late in the film for me and seems almost like a separate movie. In fact the first and second halves of the film are almost like two separate movies.
The anger and almost claustrophobic sense that I got about the French justice system is very potent but it is spread too thin. The movie never really built up any momentum for me. I can’t recommend 'Two Men in Town' even though parts of it worked very well. If you are a fan of Delon and/ or Gabin you may want to give it a try. I suspect if you get into this film you will find it an enjoyable enough, albeit melancholy, drama.
DVD = ***
All Together = **
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