‘Sleepless Night (Nuit Blanche)’ – a lightning-fast, intelligent piece of filmmaking
Sleepless Night (Nuit Blanche)
Directed by Frédéric Jardin
Written by Frédéric Jardin and Nicolas Saada and Olivier Douyère
Sometimes, a movie’s simplicity makes it effective. And whatever else can be said of Sleepless Night, or Nuit Blanche in its native France, it’s incredibly effective. Centered on an almost laughably basic concept—a French cop has to retrieve his son from a seemingly endless and seedy nightclub by returning some pilfered cocaine—this taut, relentless thriller from co-writer and director Frédéric Jardin is a must for any fan of the action genre. And if you get antsy at reading subtitles, forget it: Sleepless Night is breathless entertainment.
Tomer Sisley stars as Vincent, a crooked cop whose decision to, along with his partner, Manuel, steal ten kilos of cocaine from dealers working for a fearsome mobster opens the film. The theft goes awry, though: one of the dealers gets away after seeing Vincent’s face and immediately rats him out to his boss. The gangster responds by kidnapping Vincent’s son, Thomas, and holding him in his epically large nightclub until Vincent delivers what he stole. The task is deceptively simple, unfortunately; other, more powerful dealers, and two dogged cops from the so-called “Rat Squad” descend on the nightclub and make Vincent’s night longer and more painful.