DVD Möbius

DVD Möbius
DVD Möbius
Run time: 103 min
Rating: 6.1
Genres: Drama | Thriller
Director: Eric Rochant
Writers: Eric Rochant
Stars: Jean Dujardin, Cécile De France, Tim Roth
Storyline
In the high stakes world of espionage, one Russian FSB operative will do whatever it takes to crack an international money laundering operation and American banker, Alice, is the key. The only problem is that he isn’t the only one after Alice. Now he must find out who he can trust and use everything he knows in order to get to the truth and bring down a powerful Russian oligarch. Written by Grindstone Entertainment Group, LLC
Plot Keywords: love, moscow russia, monaco, financial crisis, finance
Details:
Country: France, Belgium, Luxembourg
Release Date: 27 February 2013 (France)

4 Comments

  1. We went to see Mobius on it's first evening showing in our local movie theater. We were pleasantly surprised by an interesting spy movie with contemporary plot.

    First the good parts: The movie is filmed very very well – with excellent editing and beautiful outside shots in Monaco and Moskva. The acting is excellent and the plot has more than a few twists and enough mystery to keep you interested.

    The only thing I was sure, was that being Russian – no one would be happy in the end and without spoiling the plot – you will not be disappointed from that aspect.

    The not so good parts The movie is a bit slow moving and the dialog could have been crisper. The co-star's English was noticeably French-accented and not American which took away from the credibility of the character. The director could have done a better job on the Americans; the American CIA characters were stereotypical and portrayed in a way that I imagine many Europeans visualize Americans.

  2. Excellent spy movie, making interesting parallels with actual drama of Russian politics of last decade. I would never expect it to come from France. Although Tim Roth doesn't look much like Russian, he makes good job. Additionally, the mixture of French and Russian actors is brilliant. One would wonder whether this story has some real roots related to internal affairs of Russian politicians and secret services. If you change some names and places, big part of it start to look pretty much realistic actually. I would prefer it to be a fiction. Otherwise, looks too dramatic and scary sometimes. In some parts the movie could be a bit more dynamic, but it looks more like a style than flaw.

  3. The story is mainly set in Monaco, where economy and national/international cabals intertwine. Alice (Cécile de France) works for a Russian Bank and as a mole for the CIA. Moïse's (Jean Dujardin) FSB (Russian Intelligence) Team recruits her without knowing her CIA-affiliation. CIA and FSB both want to get in on the bank's founder Rostovsky and his economic/criminal activities. In the thick of it, Moïse get's too close to Alice and falls in love with her. It gets more and more complicated, and in the end, Rostovsky is not that important anymore as the whole Monaco mission evolves to a standoff between CIA and FSB with the main characters as double/triple agents and lovers who betray each other unwillingly.

    Plot: Really interesting idea – a plot that one would envision as close to the real mechanism behind actual intelligence affairs (current whistle-blower affairs, Cold War affairs). If you are interested in spy affairs and you can live without action scenes, this is your movie. My rating of nine shows my enthusiasm.

    Below some further details, light spoilers and criticism.

    Script: Five minutes in, and one knows the parameters and the scenes keep rolling and rolling – every scene is important and adds something new.

    Only the sex scenes seemed to be out of rhythm, as enchanting as they were.

    The metaphor of the Möbius strip is fitting for the intrigues and the characters becoming double/triple (maybe even quadruple) agents. The scene in which the metaphor is laid out to the viewer is a bit clumsy (and it had to involve a corpulent CIA agent, weird).

    The scenes with Alice's father are a bit forced. All in all, the script is powerful, compact – really good.

    Actors: Cécile de France IS Alice – beautiful and strong-willed as the script describes her.

    Jean Dujardin is really good, always giving us a hint of a restless soul, a man adopted in his youth by the KGB. The scene of Alice's and Moïse's first face-to-face-encounter is an unbelievable good play of gazes. The atmosphere in the sex scenes created by the actors is wonderful.

    Tim Roth plays convincingly a Russian tycoon who imitates Cal Lightman from the TV show "Lie to Me". I like Tim Roth.

    Aleksey Gorbunov is a Russian mobster who accidentally stepped on the set and was cast as Rostovsky's security. Brilliant move from casting department!

    The other actors do a good job as intelligence officials and agents. Saïd is interesting. Maybe Émilie Dequenne as Russian agent does a bit too much to show the audience she knows of Alice's and Moïse's relation (but that could be also one of the few "mis-directions").

    Direction/photography: Beautiful images of Monaco, nice opening shot. Interesting angles.

    The murder scene in the elevator scene is almost the only action scene. The camera and direction underline the rawness and brutality and the "finishing move" is delivered in "Drive"-like coolness.

    Really good ideas of the director like the dry chase scenes which have a nice realistic touch.

    Sometimes the character's are on the edge of becoming caricatures and oppose the otherwise realistic approach to the story-line (mainly Gorbunov and Roth that fill their roles nearly too good (?).

    Apart from that, the direction/photography completed and sometimes even seemed to enhance the efforts of the actors (see first encounter of Alice and Moïse, sex scenes, interaction of the side characters).

    Music: Maybe a bit too much Don Cossack Choir (inspired) music. Several really good electronic beats that fit the drive of the movie (and also seem to be influenced by Winding Refn's movie "Drive").

    All in all, "Möbius" is a round package and gives the viewer a good time and something to think about.

  4. The cinematography and editing were a delight for this movie genre so I wanted to bring that up first before it gets drowned by everything else; there is so much going on and so much to follow one's attention is easily focused elsewhere.

    I wasn't familiar with director Eric Rochant's work and I have to admit I was most pleased with this film, I would not hesitate considering other of his future projects, especially if they are in similar genre and have actors I'm familiar with. In Möbius there were plenty of such actors; we all remember Jean Dujardin for his Oscar winning performance in The Artist. I also liked him in 'Les Infidèles"/The Players. You may remember Cécile De France for her performance in the absolutely delightful 'Le Gamin au Vélo '/The Kid with a Bike; she has had other notable roles in the highly charged 'Haute Tension'/Switchblade Romance and in Mesrine (parts 1 and 2) to name a few worth considering. Then there's Tim Roth, who needs no introduction, John Lynch and Émilie Duquenne who I expect will have more and better roles in the future, if I go by what I've read about her and saw in this movie. All the other supporting actors did a fine job as well.

    The plot is not easy to follow or to explain for that matter, so if you're going to see this movie, you can't afford to miss much of the dialogue. Moïse, played by Dujardin, is an FSB agent on a joint French and Russian task force aimed at bringing down Ivan Rostovsky, played by Roth, a sinfully wealthy businessman who does more than dabble in international money laundering on a vast scale. Of course, Rostovsky's status also means he controls Russian politicians and that is the focus of FSB high ranking director Cherkachin's, played by Vladimir Menshov, real mission for Moïse. Moïse is loyal to Cherkachin first and foremost; the latter only has aspiration to gain the FSB top job and he has different plans for Rostovsky's influence. Hence, Moïse has a double role. The CIA has planted Alice (Cécile De France), a forced collaboration as she is not a CIA agent but rather a top finance expert, in a position where she can infiltrate Rostovsky's organization and set up him and his whole organization for their own agenda, all the while she seems to collaborate with the joint task force. I was astonished that the plot managed to have both the CIA and the new head of FSB get what they wanted out of the mission(s), but it did. You'll have to watch the movie to discover how.

    Both Moïse and Alice are driven characters, smart and good at what they do. The very last thing either is suppose to do is get involved in an affair, let alone with each other, but they do. It becomes more than either wanted or anticipated. I really enjoyed how that played out even as the very last scene confirms our suspicion that their affair was more than any expected.

    I saw the original French version which had the Russian dialogues sub-titled but not the English ones, as those were instead dubbed; and noticeably, all of Roth's dialogues were dubbed. Perhaps his delivery in French of a Russian accent did not fare well with the focus groups, I can only guess, but the whole dubbing aspect of the movie did not sit well with me. I can't figure why the producers did not go with sub-titles here; my conclusion is that it aimed for a European audience much more than an American one.

    I recommend the movie for how it follows a steady path despite the complexity of the plot and love sub-plot, but I do caution that you have to work for the pay-off satisfaction. You may very well think when it's over that Dujardin and De France make an ideal on screen couple and you would be right.

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