Not Your Average Femme Fatale

NIKITA
Luc Besson, 1990

Later called La Femme Nikita, Nikita is a groundbreaking film that revolutionized the genre of action films with a tough and sexy woman as its lead character. La Femme Nikita probably inspired a bunch of girls-with-guns movies.

A convicted young woman named Nikita (a remarkable Anne Parillaud) is given a new identity by a top secret government agency after being sentenced for life and “dying.” From being a grimy punk to being a sophisticated spy and assassin for the government, Nikita has a tough load to carry.

The romantic angle of the story adds more depth to the film. It’s an action movie. Oui. It’s a thrill of a ride. Oui. Just like life, it’s a drama. Oui. It’s a romantic film. Absolument! Nikita’s true antagonist is herself, not her targets nor her sadistic boss Bob. Will she go on living as a killing machine and conceal her profession to her affectionate and unsuspecting boyfriend (Jean-Hugues Anglade)? Or will she leave behind her nasty job and live an honest life? Nikita is torn between being a hitwoman and being a human being bound to be in love.

Parillaud is brilliant as Nikita. Aside from being agile, she was also able to show the emotional side of the film’s heroine. Parillaud’s performance is brave and almost exceptional. No wonder she won the year’s César Best Actress award for this film. Tchéky Karyo and Anglade were equally good as Nikita’s love interests. I was thrilled to see the legendary Jeanne Moreau and the charming Jean Reno — star of Besson’s Léon — in this film.

I’m not really an avid fan of Luc Besson’s films, but I admire the camera angles he used in La Femme Nikita, especially the one during the opening credits sequence of the film. Tres bien! The film’s original score is by Besson’s frequent collaborator, Eric Serra. He was able to highlight the characters’ emotions through his music. The film’s action sequences are simple and believable, unlike those CGI-powered “action” movies.

During the film’s release, La Femme Nikita was not really a critic’s favorite, but it still became an international success, eventually achieving its cult status.

My rating: 3/5 – La Femme Nikita is an entertaining romantic action film.

Trailer for La Femme Nikita:


DISCLAIMER: No copyright infringement intended. I don’t own or claim to own any of the photos used.



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3 thoughts on “Not Your Average Femme Fatale

  1. Hi claude!

    I haven't seen Besson's “Angel-A” yet, though I've caught some scenes from that film on cable TV (TV5Monde Asie), the cinematography is very nice.

    Thanks for checking out my blog. Have a great day! 😀

    Like

  2. Dan Zukovic's “DARK ARC”, a bizarre femme fatale modern noir dark comedy called “Absolutely brilliant…truly and completely different…” in Film Threat, was recently released on DVD and Netflix through Vanguard Cinema (http://www.vanguardcinema.com/darkarc/darkarc.htm), and is currently
    debuting on Cable Video On Demand. The film had it's World Premiere at the Montreal Festival, and it's US Premiere at the Cinequest Film Festival. Featuring Sarah Strange (“White Noise”), Kurt Max Runte (“X-Men”, “Battlestar Gallactica”,) and Dan Zukovic (director and star of the cult comedy “The Last Big Thing”). Featuring the glam/punk tunes “Dark Fruition”, “Ire and Angst” and “F.ByronFitzBaudelaire”, and a dark orchestral score by Neil Burnett.

    TRAILER : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPeG4EFZ4ZM

    ***** (Five stars) “Absolutely brilliant…truly and completely different…something you've never tasted
    before…” Film Threat
    “A black comedy about a very strange love triangle” Seattle Times
    “Consistently stunning images…a bizarre blend of art, sex, and opium, “Dark Arc” plays like a candy-coloured
    version of David Lynch. ” IFC News
    “Sarah Strange is as decadent as Angelina Jolie thinks she is…Don't see this movie sober!” Metroactive Movies
    “Equal parts film noir intrigue, pop culture send-up, brain teaser and visual feast. ” American Cinematheque

    Like

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