Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Dealer: Like Pusher, but More French
is a low life who understands the benefits of specialization. Ordinarily, he
only sells fun drugs, like XTC. Heavy stuff like coke brings too much heat.
However, he will break his own rules for a wealthy regular client. Of course,
things will go spectacularly bad. We know that will happen right from the start
and so does Dan, yet he goes down that rabbit hole anyway in Jean Luc Herbulot’s
Dealer (trailer here), which releases
today on DVD.
is Dan wearing the old school CCCP starter jacket, out of some ironic hipster
nostalgia for one of the most oppressive regimes in recorded human
history, so he basically deserves all the misfortune about to come crashing
down on his ignorant head. At least he has the sense to want out of the life
now that he has a daughter to worry about. His dream is to take her away to
Australia where they can start fresh. Quickly flipping a kilo of cocaine would
bring him a lot closer to the Outback. So when his yuppie scum customer
insists, Dan goes off to see the frighteningly soft-spoken Delo.
does not feel comfortable carrying around Delo’s kilo, which is sort of smart.
However, he decides to stash it in the toilet of his resentful hooker
girlfriend Chris, which is hole-in-the-head stupid. When said package promptly
disappears, Dan chases off after it, with his suspicious acting crony Salem and
Delo’s humorless muscle Cartouche in tow.
Dealer is another ticking clock drug
deal gone wrong movie, in the tradition of the Pusher remake and the original before it. Say what you will, but
these films are certainly economical when it comes to titles. Regardless, we
have seen much of this film before (stylistically, it also harkens back to Run Lola Run), at least until a gang of
Roma armed robbers start making things interesting.
Salet, Lionel Sautier, and Grégory Turbellier, the trio of credited
cinematographers, somehow combine to give it a consistent, distinctively
frenetic street-level run-and-gun look. Still, style points can only take it so
far, especially when there is a big zero in the film where the protagonist
should be. As his namesake, co-producer Dan Bronchinson is appropriately
weathered looking, but his character insufficiently sketched out. In the
villain department, Bruno Henry’s less is more approach is somehow strangely
effective for Delo. In contrast, Elsa Madeleine’s Chris is like fingernails on
a blackboard (and not because her voice is sharply pitched).
Dan some credit. With a running time under seventy-five minutes, he does not
waste any time ruining his life. There is also a sound morale to the story.
Stick to dealing manageable clubland drugs rather than getting involved with
the big time contraband. Are you listening, state of Colorado? Frankly somewhat
disappointing, Dealer is now
available on DVD from Artsploitation.
Labels: DVD, French Cinema