Monday, September 19, 2011

Z (French) (1969)

‘An ideological illness is like mildew and requires preventive measures. Like mildew, it is due to septic germs and various parasitic agents. So the treatment of men with appropriate solutions is indispensable.’

‘Any similarity to actual persons or events is deliberate.’ How many films clearly proclaimed this loud and clear in its opening title? Z is not a film but a stimulating and engrossing experience to witness how brilliant a political drama and thrill can go without any sort of conventional gimmicks of filmmaking. This is my first Costa-Gavras film and I’m just overwhelmed by it. He made must one of the best political thriller film I’ve ever watched eschewing all conventional traits.

A concerning peace-activist doctor is going to make an important speech addressing the citizens amid all provocative and militant crowd and irresponsible ruling government. He is of the opinion that spending huge money on arms and military increase corruption at high places at the cost of sacrificing the basic needs of citizens. The government does not subscribe to his ideology and unsupportive towards him. Just after the speech, he is attacked by militant hooligans and soon died. The force of police stands as lame duck silent spectator at the venue and the event is declared an unwanted accident to the public. A witness to the event was found with the aid of a smart journalist photographer. A dedicated inquest judge takes up the investigation to know the crux of the assassination plot against the wishes of double faced government. He remained stick to his task amid all threats and came to disturbing conclusion that leads to conspiracy sponsored by Police and Government nexus. But here comes the unconventional and disturbing end - the well scrutinized report of judicial trial and testimony of indictment is thrown into dustbin and the judge was dismissed when a new military rule intervenes and takes the charge. It has its own priorities devoid of ethics, justice and administration.

Gavras represented the shocking chaos and volatile urgency on screen with raw and unadorned realistic action to the screen- the shifting time of revolution driven by politically motivated youth, the uncontrolled extremist mob that can fire violence on streets with slightest provocation, the hypocrisy of corrupt Government, the ruthless exercise of power to silence the voices never shown to celluloid so vehemently and effectively. It keeps shocks you and disturbs you from beginning to end with tension filed fast pace narration and editing. The film won academy award for the best foreign language film and also won jury prize at Cannes. Yves Montand is impressive in his short cameo and rest of the cast performed so well including Jean Louis Trintignanat as fearless inquest judge who don’t succumb to any political pressure and determined to go to the crux of the case. Worth to mention absolutely brilliant camerawork of Raoul Coutard; this film wouldn’t be the same without him behind the camera.


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