Dark Portals Chronicles Gerard Depardieu


Runtime: 1 hour, 37 minutes
Director: Pitof
Starring: Gérard Depardieu,Guillaume Canet,Inés Sastre
IMDB: 6.5
Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Action, Mystery
Studio: Lions Gate Films
MPAA rating: R (Restricted)
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Paris. 1830. In the heart of the town, Vidocq, a famous detective, inexplicably disappears. His archenemy, the Alchemist, is the main suspect and his young biographer, Etienne Boisset, takes the case into his own hands.

Nightmarishly Beautiful and Brilliant

"Vidocq is dead!"

Thus opens Vidocq, an amazing film directed by Pitof, from a script basedonJean-Christophe Grangé’s original and hard-hitting story, The PurpleRivers.In this film, legendary real-life convict-turned-detective FrançoisVidocq,(Gérard Depardieu) lives again in 1830 Paris. The pacing and story arebothamazing. Pitof and Grangé have done such a wonderful job of creating andestablishing this horrifying plot, and whipping it up into a frenzy, thatitis impossible to not get swept away by it. The cast is also amazing, witheveryone turning in fantastic performances. A truly greatfilm!

This is one of the first major motion pictures worldwide to employ a fullydigital process in its making, including digital cameras. This adaptationhas proven to be a lovely proving ground for this new process. Many oftheexterior and interior sets and decorations were constructed by computer,andadd a sense of detail and accuracy of time and history to 1830 Paris thatwould otherwise be impossible.

The special effects and fight sequences are fantastic, with many surrealnightmarish visions that will haunt your for weeks. There are so manyamazing things about this film! For example, I’ve never heard pitifulmewling til I saw ‘Vidocq’. Once you see this film, you’ll know what Imean, and it will disturb you to your core. It’s a film that is at oncebeautiful and repulsive. There’s lots of intrigue, conspiracy, horror,suspense, mystery, romance of a sort, everything you could want from afilm.See Vidocq!

Beautiful, dark, atmospheric

Spectacular supernatural thriller set in Paris in the year 1830. The movielooks and feels like "Se7en" meets "The City of Lost Children". The filmstars well-known French actor Gerard Depardieu as Eugène Vidocq, a formercriminal turned detective. Vidocq really existed, and may well have inventedthe private eye business as we know it. While the man was real, this story however, is fictional, involving a seriesof bizarre murders and a mysterious character who wears a mask that reflectslike a mirror.

The movie is reportedly the first film recorded with a digital camera (thesame equipment used in Star Wars Ep. II, reportedly) resulting incrystal-clear images. Not only that, but many of the scenes were digitallyenhanced, giving the movie a surreal feel, not dissimilar to some otheroddball French movies like the aforementioned "City of Lost Children" (atleast some of the same people were involved in the production design ofboth, so that may not be surprising).

Some of the action scenes are quite spectacular; in a few scenes, we seeVidocq take on the masked/cloaked villain, and comparisons to both both "TheMatrix" and SW Ep. I suddenly seem inevitable. This is not to say this movieis a rip-off – no, far from it. It’s a joy to behold.

Also, the movie has a good soundtrack; dark & heavy, fitting the movie’ssubject matter, and reminding me of the soundtracks of movies like "Batman"& "Bram Stoker’s Dracula".

This is one movie well worth checking out. Highly recommended.

This is cinema

There are many things that must occur in order to say that a movie isreally good. I saw this movie shortly after it was released, but had nointernet or desire to write my review anywhere. Then came a flood ofHollywood movies, exceeded in special effects, but with bad scripts,without compelling stories; remakes or adaptations(bad adaptations) ofold TV series, and so on. I almost forgot that it was possible to makegood movies. And when I say good, I mean really good, like this. I sawit again recently, but this time I decided to give my opinion.

Here is a captivating story that keeps us expectant and eager to knowwhat really happened with Vidocq. A young man is determined to findout, reconstructing the last moments and revealing secrets. All this,with a truly captivating atmosphere, fabulous special effects, butmeasured and timed. Here, there is no excess of special effects. Theyare conveniently used to give this film a visual beauty according tothe script.The edition of the film as well as the performances and theresolution of the story, are truly remarkable.

It has enough twists and surprises, but does not become stifling forthose who do not like thinking too much. Perhaps if more complex, itwould be agreeable to a smaller group of people (like me). But thatwould be asking too much. There are other movies for that. This is anENTERTAINMENT capable of covering a wide spectrum of audiences. A worktruly worthy of being seen especially in times where bad movies aboundsupported by the God of marketing. If you like good movies, try thisone.

Because it made me remember that it is possible to sit and enjoy a goodstory, even with special effects, I give this movie a higher score.


I’ve never seen a movie like this. It has everything a good movieshould have – great characters, perfectly pictured by excellent actorslead by Depardieu, outstanding setting and camera, and – above all – aperfect story! It may be shocking to kill the main character at thebeginning of the movie, but we can see what happened before his death,for Vidocq’s case is followed up by Vidocq’s former partner and ajournalist. We can watch Vidocq – a real historical person – lookingfor a phantom, a killer of young virgins. We watch him unveiling thecontext of the case, bringing us to the Parisien high-class and to darksuburbs,too. He is getting closer to the killer, till the moment, wherehe was killed (first scene). However, this is not the end of the story,and the last scene brings a huge revelation of the phantom… It is aperfectly-made film with a lot of tricks, a lot of shocks and a lot ofwonderful shots. The plot itself is great, but done this way it aspiresto be one of the most beautiful action/thriller/mystery movie of thelast decade. And it also shows the strength of French film-making.

VIDOCQ is brilliant!

This is without doubt, VIDOCQ is one of the best French films I haveever seen. Everything about the film is fantastic. The way it wasfilmed, on hi-def digital video, the acting the plot, and the excellentvisual direction of Pitof. Why it hasn’t been given a special editionwith English subtitles in the extras is beyond me. Lions Gate stated ontheir website, that they would, but as in the past with them, they arenot the most reliable companies with dvds. e.g. CABIN FEVER is cut.HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES also. I have the R1 Canada DVD from Seville andthe DVD is superb, despite no subs on the extras, except the musicvideo which is sung in English. All in all, VIDOCQ is great!

Excellent plot, great use of rendered scenes

This movie rocks! It has to be the best movie about Vidocq (and I’veseen’emall). What most people don’t understand about this movie is that it is NOTfrom Hollywood. That means that u’ve got to be prepared for somenon-standard techniques … like extreme closeups, looking throught theeyes of actors with decreased picture quality, etc … but this movie, withall it’s fancy graphics and rendered scenes, which IMHO are very good,stillemphasises the actors … and exxtreme closeups are very good for that …go see it, u will not be sorry, pure 10!

the picture is brilliant!

I gave 10 just to improve the rating, because this movie is freewaybetter than average level. May be the story is quite trivial, but thepicture is brilliant! Almost every frame is like from paintings ofgreat artists, the colours, gamma are like from masterpieces of GustaveCourbet or Eugenie Delacroix. You can fill the atmosphere of that time.After seeing the movie, I was quite curious and sniff the Web for extrainformation about Vidoque as a person. Reading some articles I foundthat Eugène François Vidocq was real man, who lived 1775 – 1857, hebecame from a criminal to one of the first private investigators. Thereare some unbelievable and magic stories about him. By the way, it wasinteresting to know that the story has routs. So that I think it’sgreat movie. Alexei Karaghiaur, artist

4 times better than Blade and Matrix together

"Vidocq" perfectly shows up how good European cinematography truly is. Ienjoyed unique story, unique photography, and visual effects. This movieisone of a kind!"Vidocq" is A MUST SEE movie if you like this genre!

Visual ecstasy in an addicting and diversified story

Vidocq is a masterpiece and easily amongst the best movies of the lastdecade. There are several reasons for this but the most stunning one isthe visual beauty of this movie that gives this flick an artistic,atmospheric and also surreal touch. I have never seen a movie before orafter this one by Pitof that was so breathtaking from a purely visualpoint of view. All those experts that hail rather superficial moviessuch as "Matrix", "Inception" or "Avatar" should watch this one and geta good lesson about how modern films can be made without being toocommercial, too soulless and too much filled with stereotypes. Notethat this was also the very first feature film shot with the Sonydigital 1080p 24 fps cameras to reach the screen.

Off course, a good graphic can’t save a film if the rest is mediocre.This leads me to the second act of brilliance within this masterpiecewhich is its thick and authentic atmosphere. The camera positions, thereconstruction of fascinating city between glamour and dirt, life anddeath, money and poverty and the great music featuring the Cello rockband Apocalyptica add a lot to the intensity of this movie. From thefirst moments on, you are into the movie and won’t get out of it beforea little bit more than one hour and a half. The movie is detailed butstill gets to the point and has no unnecessary side stories,stereotypical love tales or anything else which seems just perfect tome.

A third convincing point is the story that features some truly originalmurders, a couple of diversified and mysterious characters and a coupleof twists in the end that may take you by surprise because to see themcoming. I really thought that the ending was brilliant and better thanany closure of a suspense movie or psycho thriller I have seen in awhile.

As a fourth point, Vidocq also mixes an addicting crime story, someadventure movie parts, suitable action scenes and a couple of dramasequences with a magic fantasy story that is still rather grounded thanjust exaggerated. The fact that this potpourri of styles works soperfectly makes this movie once again unique from a different point ofview.

All of this would guarantee a high rating about eight points but thetwo missing points are brought by the brilliant and convincing actorsin the movie. From the young and naive role played by Guillaume Canetover the fatale femme role of Inés Sastre up to the desperate and roughcharacter performed by Moussa Maskri, every single character has anaddicting and unique style. The presence of the famous Gérard Depardieuis an entertaining detail and could help to attract a bigger and muchneeded audience that should not miss this movie.

In the end, Vidocq excels on every level. It’s sad that there hasn’tbeen more movies of this kind because when I saw this film back tenyears ago I was sure that it would influence and change the way moviesare done in our world but it ultimately didn’t. Still, I don’tunderstand the reasons why because the movie is as stunning and moderntoday as it was in 2001. I could have also imagined that computer gamesin the visual style of Vidocq could have been made. If anything of thismay one day happen, if there is a movie or game similar to the style ofVidocq, I will be the first to watch and purchase it. Vidocq is amilestone of the cinema for me. If you haven’t seen this movie yet,don’t make the mistake to wait and forget to check this out. This isone of those movies one must see at least once in a lifetime.

An unsettling surrealistic experience

After buying the movie on dvd i saw it three times in one weekend toreallyimmerse myself in the world Pitof (the director) has created. The storytakes place in France in 1830, when the country is on the brink ofrevolution. Main character Vidocq is a former criminal who now runs a kindof Private investigator’s office. He’s asked to find out what could havepossibly caused the death of two notable Parisiens who were both struck bylightning. He soon discovers a man with a mirrorlike mask is behind thesesupernatural accidents. The movie begins with the death of Vidocq and thereconstructs the rest of the story in a flashback construction. The movieisshot using digital camera’s which gives the movies a very strange feeling,all the colors have been tweaked to make the movie look like some kind ofhallucination or a dream. Lots of special effects make the man in the maskadevil like nearly unvulnerable creature and a formidable opponent. All inall a fascinating dark experience of a movie.

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