SUBWAY is DIVA with no brains--a film of all style and little substance. Ah, but what style! At the tender age of 26, Luc Besson had already directed LE DERNIER COMBAT (1984) and shown that he possessed a wondrous eye and the ability to make a good-looking movie for a pittance. Next,
Besson infused SUBWAY with his great visual flair and delivered a funny picture that no one could take seriously. Fred (Christopher Lambert) is a punkishly coiffed, mysterious blonde who sets up a plan to extort money from Helena (Isabelle Adjani), the young, bored wife of a wealthy businessman.
Fred lives in the winding, hidden tunnels beneath the Paris metro with numerous other colorful characters: The Florist (Richard Bohringer), a florist who specializes in shifty deals; Roller (Jean-Hugues Anglade), a roller-skating purse snatcher; and a rock 'n' roll band that Fred eventually
manages. The slim plot is mostly a setup for dazzling visuals (the great Alexandre Trauner was the film's designer) and breakneck chases underground, giving the impression that SUBWAY is nothing but an extended rock video. The most impressive visual of the film is not a technical achievement,
however, but the face of Adjani, who gets little chance to act but numerous opportunities to traipse around in fancy costumes. The movie's salutory opening epigram reads "To Be Is To Do--Sartre; To Do Is To Be--Camus; Do Be Do Be Do--Sinatra." SUBWAY did win some praise from the French film
industry, garnering a much-deserved Cesar for Art Direction and a thoroughly incomprehensible Best Actor award for Lambert, who gives what is essentially a stylish nonperformance. The videocassette is dubbed in English.
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- Released: 1985
- Rating: R
- Review: SUBWAY is DIVA with no brains--a film of all style and little substance. Ah, but what style! At the tender age of 26, Luc Besson had already directed LE DERNIER COMBAT (1984) and shown that he possessed a wondrous eye and the ability to make a good-looking… (more)