December 16, 2015

Next Time I'll Aim for the Heart (2014)

Next Time I'll Aim for the Heart (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by Cédric Anger
Country: France

Movie Review: Based on startling real events, “Next Time I’ll Aim for the Heart” was the perfect vehicle for the acting skills of Laurent Canet, who plays a sexually repressed French gendarme whose victims of his discontentment are random women. The film, consistently written and directed by Cédric Anger, who recently has also written the screenplay for Andre Techine’s “In the Name of My Daughter”, was adapted from the novel ‘Un Assassin Au-dessus de Tout Soupçon’ by Yvan Stefanovitch. According to its creators, this character-study is a work of fiction, thus, a personal interpretation of a true story. Franck Neuhart (Canet), the protagonist, is a gendarme, a solitaire, and a killer who hates mankind. The film opens in 1978, when two friends, riding their scooters, hit a deserted road in the middle of the night, heading to a friend’s party. 19-year-old Alice stays behind just to realize that her life is in danger when persecuted without any reason by a driver who hits her twice, sending her to the hospital in a critical condition. In a letter addressed to the police, the aggressor says to despise recklessness and promises to aim for the heart in his next move. It’s excused to say he wasn’t bluffing. Besides these atrocities, the deceitful Franck, who sees his transfer overseas being denied and often breaks the security rules of the gendarmerie, had set up a bomb in a suspected car, parked near the accident; the blow causes first-degree burns in a colleague. When alone, he inflicts severe physical punishments to himself, and not even Sophie (Ana Girardot), a married woman who takes care of his clothes and for whom he has a special fondness, is capable of changing him for the better. To tell the truth, he gets even bitterer and disgusted after sleeping with her, acting weird and feeling compelled to kill again, implacably and in an unstoppable way. It was curious to see how calm he remained when killing, and how berserk he went after finishing his despicable actions. Also, it was infuriating the way he treated his colleagues when dissecting the case. An overwhelming pressure starts to grasp him when it’s announced that the assassin is a gendarme and a homosexual. The anguished original score (plus The Velvet Underground’s tune) works the brooding mood while a sort of dark mystery embraces every moment of the film. Mr. Canet was meritoriously nominated for the best actor at the Cesar Awards.

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