Destiny decided that and , the two wonderful lead actors of “L’homme du train” (“Man on the Train“) died a couple of months apart, at the end of 2017. Destiny or coincidence? This question is actually one of the key topics of this wonderful film directed by and made in 2002, 15 years before the disappearance of these two sacred monsters of French cinema (and music in the case of ).

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0301414

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0301414

 

 

This is the story of two men who meet by chance. Monsieur Manesquier () is a retired teacher of French literature who lives an old bachelor life in the bourgeois house where he was born and where he is supposed to die. Milan () is a bank robber who came to the small town to prepare the robbery of the local bank. One talks a lot, the other is a man of few words. We’ll get to know much about the previous life of the first, and almost nothing about the second who is a mysterious gangster figure on the line of characters like the one in ‘s “Le Samouraï“. They apparently have not too much in common, but they will discover soon not only consistent affinities, but also something more surprising: each of them yearn to the way of life of the other.

 

(video source e-cinema)

 

“L’homme du train” is flawlessly executed, starting with the well written script which builds the two characters from a well dosed mix of dialogs and silences, the set that recreates the small town house full of memories from other times, and the superb acting of the two actors.  also plays with cinematographic quotes like the Western-like beginning which brings the stranger to the remote small town to the gardener with the scythe scene reminding . There is a lot of charm in the relationship between the two men who get gradually to know each other, in the atmosphere that surrounds them with signs of the unexpected convergence of their fates. “L’homme du train” is a beautiful movie in the best tradition of the French minimalism combined with ‘film noir’. A gem that brings back to our attention that two great actors that the French cinema recently lost in one of the best films in their respective careers.