36 Quai des Orfèvres

36 Quai Des Orfevres

This movie was a little disconcerting for an avid movie watcher like me. This was partly because I realised who I was as a watcher… I see the big-picture, I see themes, ideas, and miss many details… especially in the first viewing. And the details I realised I needed to survive French cinema was a recognition of faces; which I couldn’t easily. For a long time in the movie I was trying to make connections with the plot, because I couldn’t make visual connections between the support cast.

That said, 36 Quai des Orfèvres was quite an interesting movie. It isn’t one of those ‘greatest films of all time’ but it is certainly accessible to Hollywood movie grown individuals while pushing the cinematic envelop ever so slightly.

I partly liked the understated nature of the entire action (including the movie). The film had a lyrical feel to it… it merged well from one scene to another in such a smooth manner that often it was confusing (for a person like me) to initially realise the differences. But there are subtle textures, differences, movements that are done quite well… quite engaging.

As for the story… well… it wasn’t too surprising. Yet, it was poignantly sad.

Some parts of the movie felt forced… especially for instance why the ‘thugs’ would ask “who was with you?” while beating up the poor ex-cop in the end of the movie (you have to see it to know what I mean).

But though the movie watching experience was difficult on many levels, I enjoyed having watched it. Some scenes/ideas linger. But mostly, the result was a sad sense of tragic loss… something found in Shakespearean plays. This was achieved I think because I only knew Gerard Depardieu and so… would obviously be ‘looking out for him’.

The performances of the central two characters were quite good. The women felt stereotypical. But the entire canvass, cast, music, direction etc… made for a fascinating movie watching experience.

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2 Responses to “36 Quai des Orfèvres”


  1. 1 Martin Copperstone April 2, 2009 at 7:47 am

    I was just leaving a note to ask you a favour… This movie was on late at night so I taped it and started watching it only to find the end cut off… I saw up to where Autiel’s character was reunited with his grown up daughter Lola… what happened next? I’m trying to find a friendly soul who can help me fill in the gaps as to the ending…

    • 2 NAyK April 3, 2009 at 1:25 pm

      To martin: I’m really sorry. I’ve already forgotten the movie and so I can’t help you out there. Perhaps a movie-forum of some sort could point you to ending. Cheers.


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Philippians 2:11-13 (NIV) (12)Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, (13)for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

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