Novembre 2022 Movie Scene Jean Dujardin as Fred in front of the apartment where the terrorist are hiding

Novembre [2022]

Starring Jean Dujardin, Novembre is a French movie following the police efforts to capture the terrorist responsible for the 2015 Paris attacks. It looks great with high production values, excellent cinematography, and hundreds of extras. It also has a feel of a big movie but its focus is on the people we oftentimes know nothing about. And we’ll continue to know nothing about them after this movie because most of the characters are fictional. They had to protect the identities of real members of the police, anti-terrorist squads, and other departments. The terrorists, however, and the events are very much real. 

Since Novembre is a French movie do not expect the bombastic treatment of the attacks we usually get in similar American movies. This one feels almost voyeuristic, like you’re a ghost watching the investigation unfold over the next few days. Those opening 30 minutes are quite confusing, messy, and disjointed. I actually thought that this is going to be a bad movie and almost turned it off. However, as I was already in my pajamas and snuggled in bed, I decide to let it run. And minute by minute, it got better and better.

Everything culminated with that intense and spectacular finale. And what makes every scene hit you even harder is the fact that it all really happened. Including the surreal finale that could’ve been a movie in itself. As always please do not read up on these events before you’ve seen the movie to avoid any spoilers. So, just be patient and give Novembre a chance. You can look at the first half of the movie as an exact replica of what was going on immediately after the attacks. It will give you a glimpse into the mindset and feelings of people who were now supposed to get to the bottom of these horrific events.

Ten months after the failed raid in Athens, Greece, Fred, head of the French anti-terrorist division is about to have the worst night of his life. The night of 13th November 2015 will be the worst night for all French citizens and last for some of them. After the initial attacks, a task force is formed to catch the terrorists and prevent any further attacks. The clock is ticking and the public is demanding answers. This means Fred and his team will have to give it everything they have.

I remember how hard first the Charlie Hebdo and then these attacks hit me. I don’t live in France, never been there but I felt such compassion and sorrow in the following days and months. What made the whole thing even more emotional was their fuck you response. The terrorists wanted to scare them from visiting cafes or concerts but the Parisians went about their days not as usual but even more free and determined to live their best lives. Events like this are extremely hard to predict and prevent.

It appears that the filmmakers didn’t want to cause any controversy or explore any deeper elements in this movie. They played it safe and went for an almost documentary-style, raw rendition of events. Of course, that almost makes all the difference. I have to admit that I expected more from Cédric Jimenez (La FrenchBAC Nord). Although since this is a such tragic event I completely understand the need for this kind of approach.

The cast led by charismatic French superstar Jean Dujardin did a solid job. Lyna Khoudri as Samia gave an especially emotional and intense performance. Finally, if you’re looking for more movies like Novembre, I recommend you check out The Assault. This is another French movie based on true events surrounding the hijacking of Air France Flight in 1994.

Director: Cédric Jimenez

Writers: Olivier Demangel, LB, Jeanne Herry

Cast: Jean Dujardin, Anaïs Demoustier, Sandrine Kiberlain, Jérémie Renier, Lyna Khoudri

Fun Facts: The real Samia does not wear a hijab nor did she during the events portrayed in this movie. This is why she sued the production, won and got that notice you can see during the end credits.


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