Wednesday 19 September 2018 photo 1/1
Secret Agents Torrent
Moles threaten to foil a team of secret agents' plan.
From his offices in Switzerland, Russian Igor Lipovsky is engaged in a vast and profitable gunrunning operation with Africa. The French government wants to hinder the activities of the arms dealer and sends a team to sink one of his ships heading for Angola with a load of illegal weaponry. Lisa, Brisseau, Loïc, Tony and Raymond are professionals: they carefully set up their cover, plan all their moves meticulously, and carry out orders without asking questions. Perhaps they should. The code-name of the mission is "Janus"; and just like with the ancient deity, there are two opposite faces for every aspect of the operation: the objective of the French government, the role of each team member, the presumed friend and the assumed foe...
If you want an usual, regular, conventional spy thriller, like other spy thrillers, AGENTS SECRETS is worth a try.
A couple of secret agents, Mrs. Bellucci and Cassel (wife and husband in real life), are sent in Morocco to stop a cargo who transported weapons to Angola. The plan looks fairly simple. Cassel looks like a stud, and has a very French look too.
On the other hand, there's little action and suspense; Mrs. Bellucci is filmed quite much, and we get rather a lot of profileshots, angles to exploit her sensational beauty
. Her appeal's gist is that she looks almost involuntarily sexyexplosively, _orgasmicly sexy. (In the movie, a hoodlum says about a girl that you reach orgasm only by looking at her; this might be even truer about Mrs. Bellucci. ) Actionwise, and suspensewise, i.e., thrillerwise, there's a lot of junk and dead ,tern footage. Here, Cassel is like a thirdhand Delon impersonator. The action is lukewarm and _slowish.
I am of the opinion that Mrs. Bellucci, like Mrs. Sandrelli, is not an actress for action roles; her glamor is essentially homely, intimate, and, moreover, _interiorized, not a Bond girl.
A political talkshow (with Ciorbea !) was better.
AGENTS SECRETS is rather _dullish. As for Mrs. Bellucci and the physical rolesmight it be that, despite all fitness, this is the timeless Italian construction?
(WARNING: SOME SPOILERS AHEAD) I'd like to vindicate this movie, since many people seem to have disliked it. And I'll tell you why: this is one of the best spy movies I've ever seen. I'm no expert about the world of espionage, but according to what I've learnt about real-life spooks, this movie is based on reality in many aspects.
The plot is based on operations conducted by the real-life French spy agency (the DGSE) that really occurred: the bomb attacks on a German weapons trafficker in the 1950s who was supplying rebels in the Algerian War of Independence, and the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior, a ship owned by the environmental organization Greenpeace in 1985 in Auckland, New Zealand. In the latter case, just like in the movie, a French female spy infiltrated Greenpeace and stole plans of the ship to be bombed, and the actual bombing was carried out by French "nageurs de combat" (combat divers, more or less the French equivalent of Navy Seals), some of them posing as a couple of Swiss tourists during their stay in New Zealand.
For what I know about the subject, the movie authentically depicts the modus operandi of real-life field agents, e.g. George (Vincent Cassel) avoiding being seen with his contact Tony (Eric Savin) during the operation in Casablanca; spy agencies hiring foreign mercenaries to do their deniable ops (i.e. dirty jobs) to make sure such ops will be deniable if discovered; agents being betrayed by their own hierarchy for reasons of "higher national interest"; the dirty tricks spy agencies of yet allied countries do to each other; and more specifically to the DGSE, the rivalry between the military officers (represented by Cassel, Bellucci and the Colonel played by Andre Dussollier) and the civilian technocrats (represented by the no-name black-haired cigarette-smoking guy in his early forties played by Bruno Todeschini), the former ones having lost control of the agency to the latter over the years (the DGSE was originally run by the French military).
Many people found this movie boring, but that's because the lives of real spies are exactly like that! The director stated that he wanted to depict accurately the state of mind of real-life field agents (i.e. their solitude, the fear they perpetually feel etc.) and he has exactly achieved that, and his movie must be seen more as a documentary look on real spies, not as a James Bond/Jason Bourne-like action thriller. Those Hollywood movies aren't even remotely true to the real world of espionage. Even the British TV spy show "Spooks" seems unrealistic in comparison with this movie.
I hope I have given some facts that will give a clearer perspective to some viewers, in order to better appreciate "Agents Secrets", which may indeed seem a bit difficult to understand for those who are unaware of the real-life background it is based on. And on a purely cinematographic level, this movie offers brilliant writing, directing, editing and acting. Vincent Cassel and Monica Bellucci convincingly portray two spies having to pose as a couple and always working professionally during their mission, i.e. they're always careful never to allow an ounce of sexuality in their relationship. This is all the more remarkable acting, as they were actually already married in real-life at the time of the shooting!
A definitely memorable movie.
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