Product DetailsClaude Chabrol's 1974 Nada is in some ways a change of pace for the master of the corrupt bourgeois, yet in others is true to form. While the focus of the plot is the kidnapping of the American ambassador to France by disaffected French leftists and anarchists, the emphasis on their personal psychologies is as pointed as ever from the perspective of a film director who has made a career of juxtaposing the haves and the have-nots, those who sit back and bask in their wealth and those who have to resort to other means to attain it--usually criminal. Or those who just plain resent the wealthy and do something about it, even if the resenters don't become wealthy themselves. The action here is very well paced and the acting is exactly what it should be from a great cast including Fabio Testi and Mariangela Melato (from the great Lina Wertmuller film Swept Away). Rather than lampooning the police as he did in Innocents with Dirty Hands, Chabrol here presents them as brutal workers who do everything possible to get information. The kidnappers are all disaffected, but in different ways. One is a dedicated Marxist. One is a leftist-anarchist. One is essentially a professional radical mercenary. One is a complete anarchist prone to getting drunk. Chabrol delights in contrasting those who view activity as a luxury and those who know it is a duty--and the performance of that duty by the latter is often done with enough intensity to become violent, quite easily in fact. The Justice Minister, for example, sleeps in opulent surroundings and has a wife looking suspiciously like Marie Antoinette. Likewise the ambassador dallies in a brothel with a whore wearing flimsy garments. Meanwhile the cops and the kidnappers do the dirty work that forms the meat of the story. An interesting film by the great Claude Chabrol who does have his occasional slipups (Innocents with Dirty Hands, The Swindle, e.g.) but who in this film proves he can tell a tale that veers from his typical fare--and do it quite well indeed. Definitely recommended.
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