Largo Winch (2008) Dir. Jerome Salle
From time to time, I take a break from watching Hollywood and Hollywoodish productions. However, this movie turns out to be more than a mere break. It exceeds many of this summer’s blockbusters by far.
“Largo Winch” is a story like many others: a rich playboy takes over a leadership of a massive company after his father’s death. Yet, there’s more to it. Largo (Tomer Sisley) himself is a unique guy. The movie focuses on him, showing us Largo in action as well as behind the desk, so to say. We also see flashes from his childhood, including the tough love of his father Nerio Winch (Miki Manojlović), who prepares him to lead the company one day. There’s no forced coming back to the origins of the character. What we get are the glimpses of the most significant moments of Largo’s life. Thus, we understand why he tends to be so rebellious and restless.
Largo differs from other filthy rich playboys. First, he’s adopted, and he never really finds out who his real parents are. Second, he rejects what Nerio Winch has in store for him. Largo follows his own path. He may not be the businessman his father was, but he can be characterized by intelligence, cunningness, and honesty. What’s more, he’s a skillful fighter, and comes out barely scratched from every encounter with the “bad” guys (or maybe that’s the mystical power of the tattoo, who knows). He’s also taciturn, but has a good sense of humor when it comes to it. I find Largo absolutely fascinating. Smart, good-looking, irresistible, and good-hearted, Largo is (virtually) a perfect man. Not to mention Tomer Sisley, who charmingly portrays Largo.
The world of business is a pool full of hungry sharks. After his father’s murder (which is a part of a greater plan; greater means money, of course), Largo discovers it’s a deadly rat race. At first, he gets caught up in it a little unwillingly, but later on he needs to play the game to the end. The plot thickens; however, at the end we find out the answer has been before our eyes all the time.
Every hero has a girl. In this case, she is a kind of a femme fatale. Like everyone else, Lea/Naomi (Mélanie Thierry) seeks money. She is a spy, and uses her charms (literally) to seduce Largo and make money on it. She seems cold and greedy, but I knew she would yield sooner or later. At the end, we can assume she has feelings for Largo, and money is not all she has ever wanted.
As far as the action sequences go, I’m quite impressed. The fighting scenes are dynamic and pleasant to watch. And there’s one scene I love. When Largo is chased by a helicopter, he is forced to jump from a precipice. Once he jumps, one of the “bad” guys (Steven Waddington) hits him with a sniper’s rifle (or whatever that was). Largo turns around 180 degrees in the air while falling, and hits the water. I think it is awesome. I enjoyed this moment a lot.
Although notoriously compared to James Bond, Largo is not as stiff and “flawless” as the British. He’s fresh as a summer morning. He doesn’t show off his gadgets, but rather tries to convince us using his personality, brains, and muscles. The movie provides very satisfying hour and a half – it’s packed with action, business schemes, beautiful women, humor and drama, all accompanied by Alexandre Desplat’s somewhat melancholic music with the one man in the middle of it all. “Largo Winch” is worth your time and money.
Long days, pleasant nights,