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Jean-Francois Richet

L’Instinct De Mort * Jean-François Richet (2008)

I ran into this film as one of two DVDs together being one film with the title “Public Enemy Number One”, but the originals both have their own title, this one (“Instinct Of Death”) and “L’Ennemi Public n°1”. What you get is the life of Jacques Mesrine, a violent, but charismatic criminal who uses the media to boost his ego. With nice picture-in-picture montage at times, a story develops in which Vincent Cassel gives the kind of part he is good at. Mesrine mostly robs banks without making much victims, but when it comes to police, he has little mercy. He is caught a couple of times, but escapes which adds to his fame. Travelling all over the world without changing his name, making him famous all over the globe. Prison regimes are obviously not the same everywhere. The films is mostly a drama, but also has some amusing humour and violent outbursts. Not a very special film, but a nice watch nonetheless.

L’Ennemi Public n°1 * Jean-François Richet (2008)

The second part of “Public Enemy Number One” simply continues where the first part left off. Jacques Mesrine continues to play with the media, gets caught a few times more and escapes again, he runs into a new woman and meets his new partner. Also Mesrine starts to develop (semi-)political ideas and begins to see himself as a revolutionary. Nothing much changes compared the the first part, but the picture-in-picture effect is no longer used. The film ends the way the first part started. Also the second part is enjoyable, but I wonder why the whole story is stretched over two films.