The Last Diamond
As culture ages, media slowly distils and defines what is captivating. Over time the circumstances needed to root for the thief have bubbled to the surface, and now the a criminal protagonist is commonplace.
The Last Diamond is a classic jewel heist film made with the backdrop of the modern French-speaking world of Belgium and France. It is difficult not to enjoy such a smooth flick, and it is best not to try. Giving the film its desired seriousness, you get in return a steady-moving larcenous tale equipped with suave French con-men, a beautiful woman and lies.
Unlike many recent English-speaking heist sagas, which rest heavily on the intricacies and complexities of technical theft and shootouts, The Last Diamond instead relies on social engineering and emotional conflict. Beginning right away, main character Simon Carrerra (Yvan Attal) disrobes and, sheepishly showing off his goods, fools the maids into letting him into his target’s hotel room. Irresistible tricks and plans based on social engineering are plentiful in the film and make up a large portion of its appeal. Sometimes the plans seem a little outlandish, banking on a specific reaction from someone, but this is mitigated by the occasional slip-up in the social fabric, which helps with the realism and flow of the film. The smallest slip-ups in social interactions end up creating the biggest problems and lead to the movie’s only real action scene.
Of course the story is flawed yet some of that makes it more entertaining. Simon is not perfect. He smokes cigarettes, litters, and lies and through this we see he is human and can be cheered on as the protagonist. The ending, however, leaves the audience with the sour taste of something that has been done a hundred times. Part modern cinema necessity and part French romantic myth, The Last Diamond ends with everything wrapped up in a tight bow, with the characters returned to their old ways – and of course the guy gets the girl (Berenice Bejo).
The movie delivers as a pizza man delivers – consistently – and viewers will be happy with the results, though perhaps not impressed by the artistry. There are some laughs and some thrills, but overall this heist does not steal your heart or imagination from the real world.
The Last Diamond is released in selected cinemas on 22nd January 2016.
Watch the trailer for The Last Diamond here: