The Innocent – REVIEW

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The Innocent - a French comedy heist film .....

There’s been a number of film with The Innocent as the title and understandably none of them have starred Bill Cosby. This latest film with such a title is a French language comedy which starts in a prison common room where a middle aged widow Sylvie (Anouk Grinberg) teaches acting to several of the inmates –  probably not the best idea to have a bunch of convicted criminals learn how to lie convincingly but nonetheless a class that Prince Andrew would be only to keen to attend before he ever does another TV interview. But Sylvie has fallen in love with Michel (Roschdy Zem), a thief and star pupil in her class who marry and start up a flower shop in a bid for a new life.

But Sylvie’s son Abel, (Louis Garrel), himself a widower, is not impressed or convinced either that Michel has turned over a new leaf. Ironically Abel works in an aquarium so his   belief that there’s something fishy going on is understandable and to that end he shares his concern with Clemence (Noemie Merlant) the best friend of his late wife who works with him. His fears are soon confirmed when he finds that Michel is indeed up to no good as he is plotting a heist of a truck load of caviar proving that things are getting even fishier and Michel enlists Abel into the job.  But when Abel shares the news with Clemence , rather than being aghast she’s agog with envy and insists on being allowed to help out. Their help, as it turns out, is to distract the driver of the caviar trick with a domestic ding-dong in the diner where he eats and its one of the films highlights as they engage in their faux argument. But as the rules of heist movies go the plan goes awry .

It’s not a perfect film – Sylvie’s character arc does an about turn from out of nowhere, the plotting is not as sharp as might be hoped and there are more laughs to be wrung out through the situation Abel finds himself in But Merlant is especially good revelling in the screwball comedy type role that’s the opposite of Garrel  and The Innocent is an engagingly enjoyable romp.

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Here’s The Innocent trailer…….

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