Saturday, 18 March 2017

FFF Film Review: "Dark Inclusion" ("Diamant Noir") (2016).




"The best way to have revenge on a family is to become a part of them." This is the tragedy that is Dark Inclusion (Diamant Noir). This French/Belgian heist drama thriller film directed by Arthur Harari, written by Harari, Vincent Poymiro, Olivier Seror and Agnès Feuvre, loosely based on William Shakespeare's Hamlet. After the death of Pier Ulmann’s father, poverty stricken and ousted by his family after a fatal accident. Pier’s desire to avenge his father leads him to infiltrate the ranks of his affluent diamond-dealing extended family. Considering the family culpable for his father’s loss, Pier plans a heist under the guise of carrying out construction work on the diamond firm.

A modern interpretation of the classic film noir genre, Dark Inclusion stages all the ingredients: a criminal the audience feels for, a fast, forward-moving, gripping story, and a heist. In the vein of French masters of the genre such as Jean- Pierre Melville (Le Doulos) and Jules Dassin (Rififi), Harari’s polished film noir is set in the diamond district of Antwerp, Belgium. Originally conceptualised as a modern reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, playing on the traditional formula of a vengeful son taking apart his family for the sake of his tragically deceased father, the film is characterised by intense scenes and confronting cinematography. The audience can’t help but be on the edge of their seat as Pier’s quest for revenge quickly becomes compromised by unforeseen complications.

The film stars Niels Schneider, August Diehl, Hans-Peter Cloos, Abdel Hafed Benotman, Raphaële Godin, Raghunath Manet and Jos Verbist. The cast gave terrific performances, each bringing their own to characters that are just as complex and twisted as the film itself. Schneider, especially, strikes a balance between Pier the brooding and Pier the indecisive. It's one of the best Hamlet performances you'll ever see. This is the tragedy of a man who could not make up his mind.

Dark Inclusion has a sincerity and humanity that is along the lines of the conventions of a crime film, and manages to touch our nerves. The film is atmospheric, intriguing, intelligent and brutal. It is perhaps one of the most raw crime films that has ever come out of France. Viewers become something like collaborators, invested in working out whether what Pier is doing and thinking and then pleased to discover whether we've gotten it right or not. Director Arthur Harari doesn't waste much time in expressing exactly what he thinks of Pier and the family that rule the diamond business. However, this interpretation of Shakespeare's play suffers slightly from his pop-Freud approach to the character and from some excessively flashy, wrongheaded camera work. This film is unfortunately stands as one of the least important productions of the famous play. The film turns moralistic and sour in the last half, when things all go horribly wrong. Lastly, if elements of it seem overly familiar, that's only because films such as Rififi had done it first, and this film picked up by every heist film that came before it.

Simon says Dark Inclusion (Diamant Noir) receives:


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