Ni pour ni contre 2003 movie

Ni Pour Ni Contre – How To Live Crime To The Fullest

I don’t know how used to French movies you are, but today I want to recommend Ni pour, ni contre, an intriguing modern noir from 2003.

It begins with a group of robbers who hire a camerawoman to record a heist since their employers want video proof they actually did the job.

Initially reluctant, the girl joins in the quick raid by these skilled men who act with great cunning and cold blood.

It might have been a one-time job for her, but the gang leader is fascinated and believes she could become a skilled thief.

Being bored with her unexciting career, she begins life in the underworld, hidden from most other people.

In addition, she quickly becomes hooked by the lots of easy money, the thrill of risk, and the charming manners of this strange group of criminals.

Hanging out together and beginning to understand their point of view, she becomes increasingly estranged from her old job and friends.

Until the men prepare for a big heist at a well-stocked warehouse run by a dangerous city boss.

Finally, the robbery also involves a crucial role for the girl, who is eager to turn her life around for good.

For the first time, the gang must commit a perilous gamble instead of the usual medium-small robberies where they never take many risks.

Therefore, the first disagreements emerge among the formerly friendly ones, as some want to take out the girl after she has fulfilled her role.

However, the girl is not as helpless and naïve as they think, having become much tougher in that short time spent in this world previously unknown to her.

French Polars will never die

Ni pour, ni contre offers no more original plot than other crime movies before and after 2003, yet Cédric Klapisch‘s directing style is a difference-maker.

The mood is dark with some of the drama and fun of classic French police/criminal noir, a genre everyone just calls POLAR for simplicity’s sake.

Since he is also among the various screenplay writers, the director succeeds in building a credible and engaging little crime world along these lines.

We are not talking about the most dangerous gang in town as for Francis Ford Coppolas The Godfather, merely a group of mid-level robber friends without hesitation or shame, yet rather proud of their lives.

As we have already heard in other crime movies, for example, the legendary Martin Scorsese‘s Goodfellas, according to them, anyone who gets up and goes to work every morning is a fool and a coward not daring to take what he wants.

This mentality of being wolves among sheep also infects the beautiful and innocent Marie Gillain.

Indeed, the most fascinating side of the story is how she plunges into this no-man’s-land without rules, completely forsaking the person she was before.

From the start, the gang’s leader, a charismatic Vincent Elbaz, impresses her with a jewelry store robbery carried out without needing to assault or threaten anyone.

As he explains, it takes simply having self-confidence and a willingness to do what others think is wrong and immoral.

Obviously, I do not want to praise the mentality of these robbers, but the characters are fascinating and led by a logic consistent with their way of thinking.

So don’t expect full-speed chases or over-the-top gunfights because the action is always restrained to a certain level of realism that, fortunately, never diminishes entertainment and a classic cinema style.

These cold, romantic criminals

As mentioned, the protagonist is the sweet and strange Marie Gillain, who evolves significantly throughout the story.

Increasingly passionate about the danger of robbery and more confident in her skills, we even witness a change in her appearance and her psychological side.

Not surprisingly, she starts out as the clean-cut, innocent face of the typical girl next door, then becomes sexier and alluring, ending up doing an accurate cosplay with a fake wig in the high-tension climax.

Equally important is the gang leader, played by Vincent Elbaz, who is elegant and severe in attitude and intimidates with his presence without needing to be violent.

Despite the life he leads, he likes to be reasonable and always aims for safe thefts, although inside, he dreams of the big score to test his courage.

The relationship between the girl and this strange criminal is very intriguing, with constant sexual attraction and tension that we never see become any kind of relationship.

Finally, among all the secondary characters, Diane Kruger, who is basically in a small role, is unfortunately not given much space, but she is always magnificent and terrific.

Unfortunately, Ni pour, ni contre was not a great success in 2003, being a movie that exhales a peculiar atmosphere of dark pathos and old-fashioned crime romance.

Nevertheless, it remains an exciting experiment of female Polar, closely resembling other stories I have recommended, such as American Woman or I’m Your Woman.

If you want advice, you should not judge the characters in these dramas in reductive terms of good or bad; instead, allow them to be who they are in the context of human imperfection.

Just as the director or this movie may also have flaws, I do not deny that; nevertheless, the ultimate sum of qualities far outweighs any minor imperfections.

Ni pour ni contre 2003 movie
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