REVIEW – Carlos The Jackal (2010)

As you may recall, I am quite a fan of the work of Olivier Assayas.  Once a critic for Cahiers du Cinema, Assayas has gone on to become one of the most under-rated directors working in France today.  His films generally fall into one of two streams — either they are mercilessly cold tales of espionage set against a corporate background (much like Demonlover) or they are much warmer mainstream dramas about the difficulties people face trying to connect with each other (much like Irma Vep).  As ostensibly different as these the two streams of his directorial career, both share the same unifying vision of human nature.  A vision that is painted in the brightest and most spectacular strokes in his latest film Carlos.

As my Videovista review suggests, Carlos is essentially a human tragedy about one man’s attempt to find a place for himself in a world full of principles and politics but very little human warmth.