Friday, February 23, 2018

En Francais: Subway (1985)

Le revanche du Lambert!  Today's Film is Subway, a 1985 Cult Classic starring the future Highlander.  It was also Directed by Luc Besson.  For the casual fan, he's the guy behind The Professional and The Fifth Element.  He also made- unfortunately for him- the biggest 'Independent Film' of all time budget-wise...and nobody saw it.  Hell, I have a copy and I still haven't seen it!  The near future would be bright for both of them, so it's interesting to see them together here.  I also get to see Lambert speaking French, which is less uncommon than you would think.  I, for one, am used to him speaking English and just kind of assumed for a long time that it was his native tongue.  Live and learn.  This Film tells the tale of Lambert as a guy named Fred.  Fred has two problems- he hates safes and he loves a girl way above his social status.  When the two things unite, he has one option- hide out in the Subway System of Paris- naturally.  Can he form a new life there or will his desire for one woman be the death of him?  To find out, read on...
The Film begins abruptly with a car chase.  Lambert escapes his pursuers in typical Blues Brothers fashion and hides out in the Subway.

How he's not easily spotted with his Eraserhead hair is anyone's guess.
He has a connection a rich Socialite- blackmail.  When a trade for the material goes wrong, she starts to hang around.
He finds a very interesting literal underworld in the Subway, including people doing the most normal thing- having a Birthday Party.
Naturally, Lambert and his weird expressions make this awkward as hell.

Great material for me though.
While he tries to assemble a Band in the Subway, the woman seems to fall more for him and reject her current status.  To be fair, she's married to this guy.
While not integral to the Plot, the Film does feature a guy named 'Big Bill' who enters through a shower of sparks (a la Bill Goldberg).

I'd like to picture Dusty Rhodes being a big fan of French New Wave I will.
All of the Plot Points- including the jealous Husband, the tough Detective and the band assembly- come together as Lambert's Band plays in the Subway Station, taking the place of a string quartet.

Man, even their Subways are classier than ours!
Lambert is shot by a man working for the husband and the Film ends rather abruptly after this.  Who doesn't love a semi-vague ending?  The End.
A slow, but steady Film.  There's nothing that's ever boring in this one, but it is definitely paced differently than many may be used to.  It is less about the Plot directly and more about the ambiance of the area.  It is about interesting locations and people.  There is always a driving Plot, so don't think that it is just a nothing Film.  Getting the balance between 'weird, slice of life Story' and Plot-driven Film is tricky.  Thankfully, this one balances it quite well.  Fred is an interesting, if strange guy.  Helena seems shallow, but grows deeper as the Film progresses.  All of the Supporting Players- like the Detective, Big Bill and others- get good moments.  On top of that, the Film is shot well and looks nice.  It is Luc Besson- he almost always gets that right.  As a bonus, the Soundtrack is quite great, especially if you like '80s New Wave like I do.  The whole thing is just fun and enjoyable.  The Ending is a bit odd, but, you know, French.  Oh and the 'Lightsaber' (which, for the record, I knew wasn't one) is just a light he holds for about a minute before dropping it.  Makes for a great Poster, at least.  I'll leave you with a helpful hint.  If you're looking for Lambert in non-English Films, well, drop the 'R' in 'Christopher.'
Next time, an LSD Trip of a Film.  On the plus side, 4 Batman Villains unite!  Stay tuned...

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