The Informant, film review: Brooding thriller with flavour of The French Connection 2

(15) Julien Leclercq, 116 mins Starring: Gilles Lellouche, Tahar Rahim

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Julien Leclercq's brooding, old-fashioned thriller has some of the flavour of John Frankenheimer's The French Connection 2 about it.

Gilles Lellouche plays Marc Duval, a cash-strapped Gibraltar bar owner who turns informant on the drug smugglers thronging the island but ends up caught between crooked customs officers, cops and gangsters.

There is even an IRA man for good measure. Tahar Rahim, who played the lead in Jacques Audiard’s 2009 drama A Prophet, is wasted as his handler, but Lellouche himself has a Jean Gabin-like gravitas and soulfulness as the small-timer in above his head.

The film may be set in the sunny Mediterranean but its interiors are as darkly lit as those in any film noir.

The plotting, too, is on the murky side. With so much subterfuge, it becomes increasingly difficult to work out who is cheating whom – and why.

The film-makers also seem uncertain whether they are making a violent, story-driven gangster thriller, or a moody drama about a  man alone.