Jacques Audiard's directorial debut See How They Fall aka Regarde les Hommes Tomber is our old friend, the film with two different stories that gradually converge and turn out to be the same story after all, simply told from different sides. It's a shaggy dog story, with Matthieu Kassovitz's simpleton following unlucky-in-cards drifter Jean Louis Trintignant with mutt-like devotion that even stretches to killing for him when he's asked to repay his gambling debts in kind. Meanwhile, in a slightly different timeframe, Jean Yanne's over-the-hill travelling salesman becomes increasingly obsessed with finding the hitman who put his cop friend into a brain-dead coma, his life, income and relationships gradually stripped away as he gets closer to his prey. Yet while it may offer the perfect setup for a modern-day neo noir, the film is often more surprisingly playful, more interested in quirks of character and a slightly skewed sense of humor (aptly served by the occasional ironic captions and Alexandre Desplat's half-jaunty, half-discordant score) than the traditional thriller set pieces and plot mechanics.
Unfortunately the film is ill-served by one of the worst Region 1 NTSC DVDs released in recent years: the picture quality on Synkronized's disc is so poor at times you keep on expecting to see the audience's heads in front of the picture like a pirate disc. No extras. No surprise. Thankfully, the UK PAL DVD release is much better quality.