Director: Frédéric Schoendoerffer | 107 minutes | action, crime | Actors: Benoît Magimel, Philippe Caubère, Béatrice Dalle, Olivier Marchal, Mehdi Nebbou, Tomer Sisley, Ludovic Schoendoerffer, Anne Marivin, Alain Figlarz, Cyril Lecomte, André Peron, Ichem Saïbi, Christophe Maratier, Nicky Marbot, Olivier Bartélémy
Holy Moses! This movie is not for people with a weak stomach. It’s hard and bloody and explicit. Now we are used to that from the gangster genre, but this film goes a long way in showing violence. Okay, it does support the characters and luckily they are also well developed, so it is not ’empty’. Yet you may wonder how much a film can show without giving up its entertainment content, after all, we are dealing here with an action film and not an educational picture, at least … A ‘Mobsters (2007)’ stands for: a truant, or someone who is duty. The title statement could be that the men in this film are essentially all neglecting their real duty to be reasonable and, above all, civilized human beings. Here it probably also means: one who puts himself above the law; for gangsters, a ‘truand’ is a nickname that underlines their urge to assert themselves without regard to anyone. Which also means that you cannot trust anyone but yourself. What loneliness.
Frédéric Schoendoerffer is the director of the (in the Netherlands) very underrated ‘Agents Secret’ from 2004. This is a kind of more serious variation on ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith ‘(2005). The excellent Vincent Cassel and Monica Bellucci (also a couple in real life) play the leading roles. It is a mystery that this film has not fared better. The same seems to be happening with ‘Mobsters (2007)’, which probably has to do with the fact that the film is made in France. Films from that country have to be either profound and artistic, it seems, or they have to be so special that they have to stand out from the Hollywood crowd, like ‘Amélie’ (2001).
In terms of data, ‘Mobsters (2007)’ is not that special and also not a milestone cinematically, but it is a good film. There is good acting, the story is not too simple and the characters are well developed. In the gangster genre he is not inferior to his American friends and in some ways he is even better. Look, the average American gangster movie, if in the A circuit, takes people from the movie rating into account. We know that they find it worse that every now and then there are genitals in the picture than that people are shot, but there are limits there too.
Now let both happen in ‘Mobsters (2007)’, which can shake things up in the States. It is somewhat understandable. Especially the male viewers among us like some beautiful naked female bodies and get a kick out of a bit of violence. Or does Schoendoerffer still want to give us the feeling that this is not completely great? After a movie full of money- and power-hungry maniacs who vent their frustrations with brutal violence and brutally kill anyone who stands in their way and then treat women as if they were stickers (and then they get off well) you don’t really like a nice picture more about the men and their world and you can only ask yourself one thing: will we ever be okay (people)? You can of course answer that question yourself. In any case, we are not finished with the bad guys in the world and hopefully not even with director Schoendoerffer, who can also be seen as an actor in ‘MR 73’, a promising film by Olivier Marchal, played role in ‘Mobsters (2007)’. And so one hand washes the other.