REVIEWED
1/19/03

STORY



LOOK

La Femme Nakita
Director: Luc Besson
Year: 1990
TRT: 2:00


What I won't do for the dmr? I strive to bring you the best in drunken reviews, so despite having lost my original review in the crash, I took it upon myself to drink some more, watch it again, and write another review. Luckily it's a great movie, so it wasn't too painful of an undertaking (though I may feel some pain tomorrow morning, Damn the Beast!)

Between its stylish noir-like look and good characters, there's little to not like about this film. Besson is known for using very strong female characters that are in some way flawed, and in this movie he finds a great balance between the two without going over the top. The story starts with a gang of punks knocking over a pharmacy to score some drugs, and all are killed in the process except for Nakita, who kills a cop in cold blood. She is sentenced to life in jail. But she is basically recruited then by the "government" after they stage her suicide so that she may work for them to repay her debt to society. Being a total anarchist, she doesn't exactly play along with their rules. But she starts to understand that she cannot continue to live in such a fashion, and finally allows herself to grow as a person. Unfortunately the price for this is she must hide the fact that she lives a double-life as a secret agent who occasionally must kill.

It's played out in a pretty believable manner, and there are some elements of love that are played out nicely by the characters without ever becoming too cheezy. The main reason this movie doesn't get the full 12-pack rating is for the music, which though goes with the movie pretty well, can be a bit dated and out of place. But ultimately this is a great picture with some good action sequences to balance out the story of a person torn between her love and her past.

DVD Notes: On second viewing, I decided to actually listen to the dubbed english track as opposed to the original french, and as expected, wasn't nearly as powerful. Do yourself a favor and read the subtitles, because you really do lose a lot of impact when you don't hear the original actors' performances. There's not much else with the DVD besides the interior booklet that gives a little history on the movie after its release, and the fact that an american version was remade shortly afterwards called Point of No Return starring Bridget Fonda and Gabriel Byrne. Was it necessary? Not in my opinion. It was also made into a television series for USA Network that ran for awhile. Never saw it, why fuck with the original when it's so well done?