Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Film — The Adventures of Arsene Lupin

Lupin is the French character with the MO of Raffles and the public profile of Sherlock Holmes; this film is really a "secret origin" story, with the young Lupin caught up between a royalist plot and the machinations of Josephine, Countess Cagliostro. As expected, it's all very stylish and French; however to the viewer unfamiliar with the character, it is clear that some things (the Mission Impossible style masks appearing without any reason) are there because that's part of the greater myth, and are what the French audience will want to see. It also has great difficulty knowing how to stop - the royalist plot is foiled, but the film keeps going into a revenge sub-plot that is then left only partially resolved in the aftermath of an assassination attempt on Archduke Ferdinand, after a fast-forward montage of many years.

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