Moview Review – Rififi

Posted: June 16, 2013 in Movie Reviews

One of the brilliant, overlooked noir film Rififi was such a good example of how thrillers should be made. Rififit doesn’t intrigue you in the beginning. It doesn’t make you love the characters who perform heist. It doesn’t have a happy ending and no one liners to make you go gaga. A chase scene happens at the fag end of the movie. A little stunt in car, nothing else. Other than this, the whole movie centers around a gang who try to steal jewels. The movie is glazed with melancholy throughout.


The main protagonist Tony has come out from jail after serving 5 years sentence. He’s a man who has resigned and doesn’t have any interest in life. When he sees his girl with someone else he gets angry and beats her. In an otherwise uneventful life he decides to plan for the heist so that he’ll get some spice in life. Something which his peers get happy for. At first they plan to take jewels from the window but later as per Tony’s advice they decide to steal jewels from the safe. The ultimate treasure which will let everyone settle in life. A plan which every stealer would be fond of.

Jo, Mario and Tony form a gang and they hire Cesar for the heist. Each of these personalities has distinct traits. Cesar we see as a professional cum womanizer, what everyone thinks a gangster would be like. Mario is a happy go lucky gangster who lives with his girlfriend, a life of fantasy. His girlfriend behaves like a woman who is on a high always. At the beginning it was unclear whether she is intentionally acting naïve to find out what these gangsters are up to. But with time it became evident that she is a simple minded woman.

Mario on the other hand is a family man who seems to be leading a happy life. The initial scene where he is with his family is brilliantly shot. The kid troubles him repeatedly and when he goes to pick up phone he catches hold of his dad’s leg and moves along with him. It’s tough to see such a humane scene in a heist movie. It looked lovely and made Mario look least bit like a thief. Everyone has their own life, either good or bad. That was very well portrayed in this movie.

If their planning is detailed their execution is even more detailed. That half an hour sequence with no dialogues stand out. Words are not enough to describe how good a scene that was. Tom Cruise stunts in Mission Impossible, Indiana Jones’ Crusade all stand next to this iconic silent sequence. Every thriller fan must watch this sequence. It’s the pioneer of all the thrill sequences ever made in cinema. And the high point to it is the thrill was achieved with least bit of music and no dialogues. Many burglars would keep this scene as a reference for how to make a heist.

It takes a bit of time for us to settle after the heist scene. The tempo of the movie staggers a bit after the sequence. The movie starts proceeding at a pace it was before the sequence. That sequence comes as the high point of their life. And that’s why we experience the thrill that they do. When routine life begins they start to face problems due to Caesar’s stupidity. He’s the one who’s not from their usual gang but he’s hired by chief conman Tony. He makes a mistake by presenting the diamond to the lady he gets hooked to. A bigger mistake is he doesn’t stick to the plan. The diamond that he steals is not part of their plan and that leads to their fall.

Interesting thing to note Is Tony and co doesn’t know about the diamond that Cesar steals but rightly he gets the punishment first. Once again this film explains that perfection is a myth. There is no perfect murder, no perfect heist, no perfect nothing. It gives an educative ending, not because it’s a film made during 50s. I don’t see the ending as a conspicuous part of the movie trying to educate us. It’s how the original intention of the movie was.

Another thing is we see Hachi sad a lot of times, those close ups with the dogs jaw dropping makes us feel for him but whenever Hachi is happy its Gere who expresses his feelings. Yes Hachi reciprocates his masters feelings but I’d have liked to see Hachi happy personally too. We find him sad and desolate whenever he’s shown alone. For a change, after meeting his master he might be happy to go around and sleep. It could have been shown for a change. All these are trivial and hugely unnecessary too for this kind of movie. But for a director who has taken decent amount of effort by showing something from dogs point of view in black and white for a first time. This too he could have given a thought rather than making a movie which looked as a movie made from paper cutting.

I’m a big fan of feel good, weepy and lovey dovey movies but when you think and write about the latter you hardly have anything to say. It’s all about the feel.  Hachi wasn’t able to provide me the feel with Pursuit of Happyness did. Though I try to refrain from comparing, having watched a lot of movies I tend to do that impulsively. Hachi, as said is a dogs tale said from a third mans point of view and that’s the only thing I regretted. It’d have been more nice if I had seen it from the dogs point of view.

In spite of all this shortcomings this movie might cater to a large group of audience. Especially for people who have pets. My friend a considerably manly fellow was cribbing all the while seeing his dog die. I’ve never had a pet and not interested to have it too. This in human nature of mine might me one of the reasons for me to not like the movie much. Another thing would be, what else, sheer ego!


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