Director: Cédric Jimenez
Cast: Jean Dujardin, Gilles Lellouche, Céline Sallette
Release Date: Now Available on Blu-Ray & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
Loosely based upon real events, ‘The Connection’ follows Magistrate Pierre Michel (Dujardin) who previously dealing with troubled youths is brought into a dedicated anti-drug task force in the 70’s where he begins to attract notice in his relentless and effective pursuit throughout the years of a monumental drug ring and the criminals who continually manage to elude capture and notice while flooding the streets with heroin. Thwarted at every turn, yet unwilling to flinch, Magistrate Michel begins to cause these unattainable crime lords to become uneasy and he may just be what the city needs to finally put an end to the French Connection for good.
Cédric Jimenez directed ‘The Connection from a screenplay he also co-wrote with Audrey Diwan and Jimenez does an impressive job at the helm, guiding this powerful crime thriller with apparent ease and with a professionalism and beauty that doesn’t go unnoticed. The film also benefits tremendously from the cast which includes numerous highly competent actors; most notably the two contrasting leads on opposite ends of the fight portrayed by Jean Dujardin and Gilles Lellouche who are both outstanding each of their respective roles.
‘The Connection’ is a smart, well constructed French crime-thriller that is riveting, violent and at times also quite emotionally powerful. It does a truly amazing job managing to capture the appearance of the 70’s in nearly every way, from the cars, houses and even television sets along with a great deal more. Yet the most impressive aspect may be the way it manages to look clean and modern in its presentation while simultaneously reflecting a film shot in that era in many ways, such as shooting selections, the music and everything else. It all comes together brilliantly in this exceptional thriller loosely based on the events surrounding the French Connection and it comes highly recommended. For those who appreciate a solid crime-thriller and don’t mind foreign (therefore subtitled) films, it’s not to be missed.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Connection’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.35:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks outstanding as a whole, delivering a sharp, detailed and nearly flawless presentation throughout, complimented by a more than substantial bitrate. It holds up admirably during the fast moving and darkly lit sequences, along with those scenes containing a plethora of activity, never resulting in anything occurring on screen to be rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is an impressive high definition video presentation that should easily satisfy.
The Blu-ray release features a French language lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack accompanied by English Subtitles. This lossless multichannel soundtrack sounds pretty fantastic, providing a clean, discrete and smooth audio presentation from start to finish, utilizing all five available channels on a number of occasions to surround the viewer with the films gorgeous score in addition to a number of bullets and cars whizzing past, along with numerous other suitably placed action oriented auditory elements, never resulting in any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible; granted this would only be an issue for those fluent in French, nonetheless it remains an important factor relevant in any audio presentation. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that should not disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Connection’ includes a couple great extras. Included on the release is ‘The Making of The Connection’ which runs approximately 51 minutes in length and provides a thorough behind the scenes look at bringing the film to life, including interviews and comments with the cast and crew. Also included are a number of ‘Deleted Scenes’ (running approximately 7 minutes altogether), plus a beautiful 20-page full color booklet featuring Q & A with members of the cast crew. Lastly we are treated to the Green and Red Band trailers for the film, along with some addition Drafthouse trailers and the usual reversible artwork. As a side note for those who might be curious, all of the bonus content with French language also includes English subtitles.