Jun 27, 2024

Subway (1985)

Subway is a 1985 French thriller film[3] directed by Luc Besson and starring Isabelle Adjani and Christopher Lambert. The film is classified as part of the cinéma du look movement.

On improvising a burglary at a shady tycoon's home, Fred takes refuge in the hip and surreal universe of the Paris Metro and encounters its assorted denizens, the tycoon's henchmen and his disenchanted young wife.
Freddy's Movie Review

Luc, Jean Reno and ÉRIC SERRA

Today, I was watching Luc Besson's second film, "Subway." The movie opens with a mildly thrilling car chase scene featuring our main character, Fred (1 point for the name alone). As soon as the music by Éric Serra kicks in, you might brace yourself for some quirky 80's bass-driven tunes with some sax in the mix. But surprisingly, it works sometimes! Éric Serra isn't just the composer; he's also a character in the movie, playing the bass guy! Seeing a real band play the music within the scenes makes that electronic-ish sound blend in better. Plus, we discover that Jean Reno can play the drums! His character is very cool and, much like in "Le Dernier Combat," doesn’t say much, except for "let's grab some coffee." This stylish movie, with its punk ethos, has a lot of charm, much like Christopher Lambert’s face, which, as the lieutenant says, "Il a une bonne tête," and of course, the beautiful Isabelle Adjani.

Surreal Storytelling in a Labyrinthine Punk Dream

The story of "Subway" is a bit silly, primarily due to its surrealist elements. The Paris Metro is inexplicably filled with police, including riot police, yet they can't seem to find the various quirky characters living in the tunnels and their strange dwellings. Especially the roller-skating guy, who pulls off a cool jump over the metro line while being chased, adding to the movie’s offbeat charm. The dialogue is hilarious and had me laughing multiple times. The ending, though, is quite absurd with an unnecessary murder that goes unnoticed, except by the sound mixing guys who were there for the orchestral band, it seems. The whole scene plays out to a cringy song with lyrics that go, "people kill people." It's surreal, but also funny in its absurdity.

Le Cinema du Look

"Subway" won three César awards. This film is a must-watch for any cinephile who hasn't seen it yet. Just a heads up about Éric Serra’s music: while I haven't liked his compositions so far, I must say that he is a brilliant bass player. I suspect we'll hear more of his soundtracks in the next films, and I might even start enjoying those cheesy electronic-ish sounds. I'm excited for the next movie and to delve deeper into this so-called Cinema du Look. For now, "Subway" stands as a stylish, charming, and surreal film that blends action, comedy, and drama in a way only Luc Besson can.

🎥 Cinematography (7/10):

The visuals were stunning and stylish, capturing the underground world of the Paris Metro with a unique flair that added to the film's charm.

📖 Story (5/10):

While the story as surreal and humorous as it was, the plot could be a bit more interesting.

🎬 Direction (7/10):

Luc Besson’s direction brought a punk ethos to life in the underground setting, showcasing his ability to create a visually compelling narrative. He could have demanded a more punk rock soundtrack, I say.

👥 Characters (10/10):

Vibrant characters adorned with the punk aesthetics that I absolutely adore.

💥 Visual Effects (5/10):

Irrelevant, so I'm giving it 5, just to balance it out.

🎭 Acting (10/10):

All good here.

💬 Dialogue (10/10):

Very enjoyable, memorable lines like: "Put that toy away. You don't need it down here. Nobody shoots florists.".

🌍 Setting/Atmosphere (6/10):

The portrayal of the Paris Metro as a labyrinthine, hidden surreal world was intriguing.

🎵 Music (4/10):

Enough said about this. Some people will love it and buy the soundtrack, some will squint their eyes and ears.

😄 Entertainment Value (6/10):

Highly entertaining with its blend of humor, stylish visuals, and quirky characters that kept me engaged.

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