France, 2005, 90 minutes, Colour.
Sophie Marceau, Yvan Atall, Sami Frey, Daniel Olbrychski.
Directed by Jerome Salle.
Anthony Zimmer was the film that Florian von Donnesmark’s The Tourist was based on. It is useful to compare the two films. The original French film by Jerome Salle is more streamlined in plot than The Tourist. Sophie Marceau is less aloof than Angelina Jolie, Yvan Attal less scruffy than Johnny Depp. The re-make makes a lot more of surveillance technology and of the detective on the track of the fraudster. The same twists are there but, there is a momentary credibility in the original than in the remake.
However, audiences will recognise the similarities of plot, especially up to the train journey and the arrival in Nice. There is the hotel room, the chase by the Russians, the interrogations by the police. But the new writers have added quite a bit of detailed comic business, some of it witty, some of it droll compared with the original. There is no grand ball in the original but the set up is the same – but maybe Anthony Zimmer at the end is a bit more honourable than Alexander Pearce.
1. An entertaining crime thriller? Police investigation? Romance?
2. France, the countryside, the Riviera and Nice, the lavish locations, the beauty of the Riviera? The musical score?
3. The title, Anthony Zimmer as a mystery man? The information given about him, his drug deals, his making money, laundering the money? The connections with the Russian Mafia? The police and the long investigation? His age, skills, disappearance, plastic surgery? His disappearing?
4. Chiara and the introduction to her, walking the street, the glamour, the initial impression? Not suspecting her to belong to the police? The coffee, the message, Zimmer wanting her to go to the train, choosing a man in the compartment? Her choosing Francois? The past relationship, in love with Zimmer?
5. Francois, sitting in the carriage, his background as a translator, going on holidays? The conversation, Chiara dominating it? Her refusal to eat? On the Riviera, the police and the message that Zimmer was on the train, his being taken, interrogated? Chiara rescuing him? Her taking him to the hotel, its lavish style, settling in, the kiss, breakfast and Chiara gone?
6. The Mafia, Nassaiev sitting in on the briefing with the police? Their interest in Zimmer? The thugs coming to the hotel, Zimmer and his escape, the police pursuit, catching him, the interrogation, using him as bait?
7. Akerman, his police skills, the meetings with the other police, the court hearing, the explanation of Zimmer and his schemes, laundering money? The Russians and their interest? Akerman and surveillance, the long search for Zimmer? His interest in Francois?
8. Akerman and Francois, giving the photo of Chiara, seeing that she belonged to the police? Her undercover mission?
9. The set-up, the romance between Francois and Chiara, her resistance, the test?
10. The invitation to the house, the Russians and their presence, Chiara and her going, waiting?
11. The police surveillance, her being wired and set up? The shooters, having to wait? Nassaiev and his violence, slapping Chiara? The shooting and the death of the Russians?
12. Francois, hearing of the danger, running to help Chiara? Telling her the truth? The revelation? Her wanting to arrest him?
13. His going to the safe, finding the book the police wanted, leaving it in plain sight? Chiara and Francois and the tension – and her giving the police his name as Francois Taillandier instead of Zimmer? Her going off with him?
14. The light touch – in the Hitchcock To Catch a Thief Riviera vein?