we saw November, the tense (and useless) thriller on the Paris attacks

we saw November, the tense (and useless) thriller on the Paris attacks

After an exceptional year 2021 in July, Cannes is back in May for its 2022 edition and its rich selection of around a hundred more or less expected films. After its zombie opening with Cut!, the festival is therefore in full swing and unveils a little more of its gems (or not) every day. It’s time for us to give you our hot opinion on November, thriller returning to the hunt for the terrorists of the Paris attacks in November 2015, directed by Cédric Jimenez (North ferry) and led by Jean Dujardin.

What is it about ? November 13, 2015, Paris is the target of several attacks. The SDAT (anti-terrorist sub-directorate) will do everything to find the culprits as quickly as possible in order to avoid a possible second attack.

How was it ? Effective but clearly useless. With North ferry, Cédric Jimenez had quite stirred the Croisette in 2021 and the rest of France when he left, becoming squarely the center of a political controversy and a debate on the cities, the authorities… So obviously, by attacking to the Parisian attacks of November 13, 2015, the filmmaker seemed set to further inflame social networks, the media and perhaps even the political elites. Let us be reassured, all the sterile debates that have resulted from North ferry won’t have to be with November.

Why ? Just because the feature film does not have much to say about its subject, or even absolutely nothing. November is on the contrary a simple reconstruction of the hunt for terrorists during the five days following the deadly attacks at the Bataclan and streets of the 10th and 11th arrondissement.

November: Photo Jean DujardinJean Dujardin chatting with a salvo of disembodied characters

And we can not say that it is missed. In a simple thriller following the agents in charge of the investigation, their search for witnesses, their attempt to reconstruct the sequence of events and to neutralize the sponsors, November is effective. With 1h48 on the clock, the feature film is extremely rhythmic and enjoys no dead time. From its opening, recounting a failed exfiltration that will lead to tragedy, then directly retracing the attacks without ever falling into sensationalism and quickly introducing the characters, November captivates very quickly.

Especially since if Cédric Jimenez seems incapable of understanding that a film like North ferry may have a political impact, he is nonetheless an impactful director. With a clever sense of tempo, the gentleman once again demonstrates his ability to create sequences full of tension with very few elements in November: spinning, infiltration, an assault… to the point of holding his breath a few times. .

November: Photo Anaïs DemoustierAnaïs Demoustier, perhaps the only one who shoots

Except that apart from that and his big hard-hitting cast (although quite unremarkable apart from the excellent Lyna Khoudri and Anaïs Demoustier), Cédric Jimenez will do nothing about his strong subject. Hoping no doubt to avoid the pitfall of his North ferry, the filmmaker seems to have decided to do only the bare minimum. And there is reason to regret as the terrorist attacks of November 2015 could have been the way to tell the dysfunctions of the police, the judicial impasses and the incessant conflicts between the different institutions of the republic, as well as the permanent fear of this unfathomable Islamism, as discreet as it is terribly present in the lives of every Frenchman (and in particular of the victims).

NewmbD also made a big mistake with its pronounced emphasis on the faces of terrorists even though he pays no attention to the victims themselves (almost forgotten in the screenplay). There then remains a large advertising spot for the Ministry of the Interior, a strong tribute to the French intelligence services and their efficiency and a well-executed Wikipedia file, but without much interest.

And when is it coming out? The film will be released in theaters on October 5.

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