“Dead in France”
A Comedy Thriller
Charles (Brian Levine) is a socially-challenged hit man who lives in Cannes, France and all he really wants to do is retire on a yacht with a woman. He has no experience with woman or yachts but then he lets his cleaning lady, Lisa (Celia Muir), into his life. What he was not planning on was her boyfriend, Denny, or con men Simon and Ray stealing the two million savings he had in the back of his car. Charles goes after them and travels across the Cote d’Azur while his nemesis Clancy follows him because he is angry that Charles might actually be retiring.
This is a low budget film yet it is filled with sophistication and the black and white cinematography is amazing. The acting is uniformly excellent and the characters are totally believable.
At first we are not sure what Charles is paying Lisa for but we do see that he likes her but has no idea that she has a really vile boyfriend, Denny (Darren Bransford). Lisa and Denny try to cheat Charles by renting out his home in Cannes to French families and then keeping the money for themselves. Then all of Charles’s savings are stolen by con men (Lee Cheney and James Privett) who had no idea that Charles would after them. Charles made one big mistake and that was letting his rival Clancy (Kate Loustau) know that he is retiring and this causes Clancy to come to France to look for him and his money. I know this sounds confusing but everything is easier to understand when you watch it.
The film is a very sleek and stylish comedy thriller that is complete entertainment. While the idea is not new—disparate characters that seem to always cross each other’s lives and ten there is a bit of violence but what makes this movie different is that it is all handle so well.
The location is perfect with Cannes being filled with the yachts of millionaires and the beautiful scenery of the French Riviera. The comedy is funny and the violence is, well, violent. The wonderful scene between Charles and Lisa is a delight. As for the violence, it seems that there are dead bodies everywhere around Charles’s villa.
The fact that it is filmed in black and white already makes it different and I love seeing a movie that does a lot on a small budget.
Kris McManus has directed, shot and edited a smart, nicely-set-up rampage through a lovely part of the world with an unknown cast who do an excellent job.
- Posted in: Film