Directed by Régis Blondeau, and available to stream on Netflix from today, is the French crime thriller, Restless (aka Sans répit). The movie stars Franck Gastambide and Simon Abkarian, and centres around a corrupt cop, whose life spirals out of control following a car accident.
In the film, Lieutenant Thomas Blin is on his way to the local hospital, following the death of his mother. During the course of his journey, he takes a phone call concerning some troubling issues at work, and this briefly catches his attention.
Distracted during the drive he accidentally hits a pedestrian, instantly killing the man. Panicking, he puts the body into the boot of his car, leaves the crime scene, and continues with his journey.
While Blin pays respects to his deceased mother at the hospital’s funeral parlour, an investigation takes place at his police precinct. Internal Affairs have reason to believe Blin’s department is taking backhanders, and the spotlight is soon to fall on the lieutenant once he leaves the hospital.
Realising the situation will escalate even further once the truth about the hit-and-run surfaces, Blin tries to dispose of the body. However, as he soon discovers, secrets are not so easily buried.
If you recall last year’s Turkish crime thriller, Grudge, then you might see some similarities between that movie and Restless. Both films focus on a high-ranking cop who has committed a crime, and both films spend some time trying to cover it up.
And as with Grudge, Restless is fairly entertaining stuff. It is the sort of film that sets up its story quite swiftly, builds up a little bit of tension, and then runs with it.
Restless isn’t the most original film, nor is it packed to the rafters with set pieces, action sequences, or endless scenes of spectacle, but it is pretty solid stuff. It does exactly what it sets out to do, has enough story to keep things going, and builds toward a tense finale.
Franck Gastambide plays the lead role of Lieutenant Blin in Restless, bringing a certain ‘grubby menace’ to the part. As Blin, he plays a no-nonsense hardman, sort of like a cut-price Mitchell brother, and he spends the majority of the movie trying to get himself out of a sticky situation.
Of course, the decisions Blin makes are all bad ones, and he’s not a squeaky-clean guy by any stretch, but at no point does the film make you want to root for him. It simply wants you to become invested in his journey, and this is something it achieves quite well.
Gastambide’s performance is a big part of this, and he demonstrates a strong screen presence. He moves through this film like a shark, never stopping until he completes his goal.
Because he is so watchable, this movie becomes so watchable. It also helps that Restless looks good, features the odd dash of black comedy, and knows not to wear out its welcome.
Restless is enjoyable stuff. I doubt it will appeal to those who aren’t into crime thrillers, but if this genre of movie is your bag, then Restless is sure to provide some entertainment.
The film is gritty, interesting, and not bad at all. Crime fans may wish to check it out.
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