Top critical review
One person found this helpful
“No hate, no weapon, no victim.”
on 4 November 2015
Despite being responsible for France’s ‘heist of the century’ when he literally drove off with 11.6m Euros, security guard turned unlikely folk hero Toni Musulin’s extraordinary story isn’t the easiest to turn into a film: his crime – or offence, as his lawyers put it – was absurdly quick and without drama, leaving Philippe Godeau’s 11.6 to spend much of its running time focussing on his character and his meticulous preparations. But even here it’s a difficult task since Musulin was the kind of man who gave little away even to those closest to him and there’s still a huge amount of ambiguity over just what happened to all of the cash and just why he turned himself in so quickly. It’s the kind of film that needs a strong actor to carry it, especially since the version of Musulin that the film presents is so contradictory: he has legitimate grievances with the penny pinching management of the security firm he works for, he’s the kind of man who can be lonely even when he’s in a relationship but he’s also selfish and non-communicative. Even his motives aren’t entirely obvious. His co-workers, to whom he becomes a hero, think it’s not about the money but about winning, the police think it’s a clever scam to get away with the unrecovered 2.5m knowing that because no violence was involved he’ll be out to enjoy it in just three years while the film hints that it’s an elaborate revenge on the company that took advantage of him. The closest he comes to explaining himself is when he tells the police in Monaco “If I’d wanted the money I’d have taken it all,” though when asked more directly by the French police for a statement simply offers “Just put down ‘Mr. Musulin refuses to sign.’”
Avoiding any (admittedly limited) opportunities for suspense and playing down the manhunt for him, it’s not a fast paced or glamorous film, taking its time building up the dreary routine and petty slights of his working routine as a ‘convoyeur,’ and ultimately it becomes more of a mystery about both his character and his intentions than a thriller, and a mystery it doesn’t presume to know the answer to. François Cluzet’s lead performance doesn’t either, but he’s remarkably effective at drawing you in to this withdrawn character who only lets people in so far before putting up another wall, and he’s ably supported by a convincingly naturalistic supporting cast, especially Bouli Lanners as his slow best friend and Corinne Masiero as his increasingly frustrated and alienated partner. But while the first half hour or so might be enough to make some viewers catching it on the small screen who were expecting a high-octane thriller rather than a low key character study switch channels, it gradually exerts its grip and becomes an intriguing cinematic enigma that real life has yet to solve.