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Directed by Bertrand Tavernier
Running time 145 minutes
Bertrand Tavernier’s L.627 is a kind of cinema verité film supposedly tracking the day-to-day life of a cop (Didier Bezace) on the narcotics division of the Parisian metropolitan police force. I say “kind of” and “supposedly” because although its subject matter is tawdry it is quite as romanticized as any fiction film.
Lucien "Lulu" Marguet with his “its dirty work but someone’s got to do it” attitude is really your typical hard-working cop familiar from innumerable Hollywood crime films. He does his job but for all its futility it is a job which is a lot more exciting than working in a factory or being a school-teacher. He’s got a good-looking wife and has a kind of paternal relationship with a good-looking HIV+ junkie prostitute (Lara Guirao). His female boss is also good-looking and wears singlets with no bra to work. Like yeah! Oh, and somehow he’s also got time to moonlight as a wedding videographer and he also films his work and shows it to his wife. The fact that all this goes on for 145m with no plot to speak of doesn’t help. Yes it may be a reasonably accurate portrayal of the run-down state of the Parisian police force of the day (who apparently praised it) and it is a salutary corrective to the touristic image of the City of Light but as film it’s not something that other than Tavernier devotees are going to find of much interest.