Quick-Thoughts: Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Doulos (1962)

Jean-Pierre Melville Binge Part I of IV 

When you think a betrayer might be betraying the betrayer, you know s*** is about to go down. 

With the ferocious opening sequence, it was clear that Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Doulos (A Hat) was going to be one classy film noir. It is, however, a smidge more complicated than that, turning the ambitions of its characters on a limb until events begin to unravel, aching the viewers to get affirming knowledge on what’s truly going on behind the scenes. It’s nothing out of the blue calculated in its cryptic moral objectives nor does it extend its claws out beyond being just a peculiarly crafted mystery thriller, but it damn well is a novel arthouse prerequisite that has effectively introduced me into Melville’s career. 

Elegant twist ending, as well—if you can even call it that. 

Verdict: B

French New Wave Ranked

“Le Doulos” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel and Kanopy.

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