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Fred and Simon, detective partners, get into a serious car crash that leaves 3 people dead (including a child). Simon, who was behind the wheel, looses everything: his job, his family and his self respect. Six years later he is working for a private security company and things seem to look up a little, when his teenage son becomes a witness to the mafia murder. Believing that mafia does not leave loose ends Simon asks help from the one man he could always rely on. But Frank has his own secrets to keep. Will the two be able to reconcile their past and face a new imminent danger?
French director Fred Cavaye creates another adrenalin ride with two of his favourite actors Vincent Lindon and Gille Lelouche as the stars. Stand alone elements of the film are not original. In fact they can be called cliches, but assembled they make an edge of the seat experience that will keep you glued to the screen. Interesting element of MEA CULPA is how character development goes through visuals, rather than dialogue. The space tight brutal fight inside the van in a car park, right after the opening of the film, has no value to the story but to present the character of Frank in action. MEA CULPA is filled with border improbable chasing scenes, characters escaping certain death in the last moments, but with a young child being a constant target from the killers make the film closer to a horror movie than to a cop thriller. The final showdown on a train where everything is at stake is raw and uncompromising. But while you could see the story resolution miles away it is still very satisfying.
In an instant age where viewers attention span rarely lasts longer than 90 minutes this uncompromising French thriller well deserves its place under the sun.