Revenge is Sweet; Watching ‘See How They Fall’

What can be sweeter in life than the after-taste of extracting vengeance on those who have wronged you.

Revenge, vendetta, vengeance, just desserts, comeuppance, retribution –  Sure, all these may be ugly words with their foreboding of “there will be blood” but they are an essential trait of all humans.

If only the hypocritical humans would confess to the base instincts lurking in their souls.

Being that we are new fans of French film director Jacques Audiard since we watched his A Prophet in Philadelphia recently, we ordered his first film Regarde les Hommes Tomber (English translation: See How They Fall) from Netflix.

A short while ago our mail-carrier delivered the DVD and we have just popped it into our home theater system.

We’ll update this post later today after we finish watching See How They Fall.

By the way, the French movie comes with English subtitles.


Regarde les Hommes Tomber (See How They Fall) is a bewitchingly beautiful, hauntingly dark movie with some nice comic moments.

When business cards equipment salesman Simon Hirsch’s (Jean Yanne) best friend Mickey, a cop, is shot and left in a brain-dead coma, he decides to avenge the brutal attack on his buddy as he believes the cops are not doing a good enough job in nabbing the attackers.

If that was all there was to the movie, it’d just be another tedious revenge tale.

In a clever move, director and co-writer Jacques Audiard introduce the oddball pair of card player Marx (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and his much younger, nitwit friend Johnny (Mathieu Kassovitz) into the story.

Marx and Johnny make for unlikely companions.

Marx is a low-life, gambling addict.

Johnny is a babe-in-the-woods, to put it charitably.

The pretty-faced Johnny reminded us of George Babluani’s character Sebastien in the fine French movie 13 Tzameti.

See How They Fall moves along two parallel tracks, neatly switching between the two.

In the first track, we see Simon plodding along – but relentlessly – in his attempt to catch Mickey’s violent attackers. We see him traveling to Lyons, conning his employer that he’s landing lots of orders for the business-card equipment even as he clumsily investigates the attack on his friend. So clumsily that he doesn’t even know the names of whom he’s torturing sometimes.

Jean Yanne is a fine actor and he essays the role of Simon with great aplomb.

Narrated in flashback, the second track is the story of Marx and Johnny.

Without doubt, Jean-Louis Trintignant is a formidable actor and his impressive talent shows in his role of the tragic Marx, the limping, gambling addict who is extremely irritated with Johnny for tagging along but also has a vein of affection toward his companion. Some of the best comic moments in the movie are to be found in the interaction between the two.

The ending is to some extent predictable but no less moving.

All in all, See How They Fall is definitely worth watching.

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