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Revolutionary or Cynic?,
This review is from: Carlos The Jackal (Complete) [DVD] (DVD)
Carlos is the Venezuelan revolutionary who left his university studies in Moscow in 1970 and travelled straight to Beirut to join the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. He got his nickname from the Frederick Forsyth novel "The Day of the Jackal." This film is shot in three parts for television, a five-hour and 33-minute production. It is an achievement that shows the way countries use criminals to further their international goals. The film is informative, it also offers drama with excitement, suspense, and tragedy.
The film is based on research by Oliver Assayas, co-writer Dan Franck and producer Daniel Leconte. The film is presented as fiction because so much of the life of Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, who became known as Carlos, remains unknown. It spans the time from 1975 through 1994. This is a powerful film and Edgar Ramierz takes on the role of Carlos with great effectiveness. He ages from a young hot bloodied man to a middle-age businessman with a nice little pot belly, and then goes through a period when he is lean and muscular after training in Syria. His looks change as does his moustache, beard and hair, and yet he is Carlos if you take a good look.
His major operation was the OPEC raid in 1974. He and his small cadre took 42 hostages and demanded an airplane to take them to Algiers. No country wanted him to land. And, this took him to Baghdad and Tripoli before returning to Algiers. The man known as Carlos said that Marxism was his religion and that he was dedicated to the Palestinian cause. He used his ideology primarily to dominate others. Toward the end, even his superiors in the Palestinian liberation movement were fed up with him, and after exhausting the hospitality of Libya, Syria and Iraq, he became a man without a country. He used women to feed his ego, and they seemed attracted to him. One wife had a child with him, but left him because she realized the child had no future living with Carlos.
I must say that if I was a smoker, I would have quit after viewing this film. I have never seen more smoking in a movie. Every character smokes heavily, and Carlos constantly. The smoking may have had some symbolism, but it escapes me. The smoking became a distraction.
This is a film about an individual with a flair for terrorism and some sort of feeling for revolution. I remember reading in the papers and various spy novels about Carlos over the years. He seemed a mysterious, dangerous individual, who was a killer for hire. And, that is essentially what he became. His small group that fought with him, were either imprisoned or died, and he is once again the lone Carlos waiting his time behind bars.
Recommended. prisrob 06-24-13