Filmmaker and actress Maïwenn has fashioned this provocative film with co-writer Emmanuelle Bercot from stories they learned, and witnessed, while spending time with the real-life unit; no wonder so many of the hair-raising vignettes have the ring of truth. Bercot also appears as one of the protection team members. Maïwenn (whom some viewers will remember from Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element, years ago) plays a dowdy photographer who is assigned to cover their work and falls in love with the resident hothead: a passionate man, played by real-life rapper Joeystarr, who can’t distance himself from his work.
There are no weak links in the cast, an impressive array of French cinema stalwarts who make their flawed characters seem absolutely real. Polisse is an extreme alternative to the Hollywood summer movie—the polar opposite of escapism. But it is a striking and unusual piece of work that’s well worth seeing.
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