Night Shift Movie Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Pros: nice actors; flashbacks that explain the characters’ personalities; police and personal drama at the same time Cons: some moments are romanticized Night Patrol / Night Shift

Drama genre
Directed by Ann Fontaine
Cast Omar Sy (Aristide), Virginie Efira (Virginie), Gregory Gadebois (Eric), Peyman Moaadi (Asomiddin), Eliza Lasovski (Sonya) and others.
Студии F Comme Film, Ciné@, StudioCanal
Release year 2020
IMDb website

The plot of the film tells about the police officers of Paris, who patrol the city every day. One day, they have to go on an unscheduled night shift to deliver an illegal immigrant to the airport. The migrant does not speak a word of French, but on the way, law enforcement officers wonder for themselves whether they should be deported by force.

The storyline with fluctuations between moral guidelines and observance of the law serves only to strengthen the circumstances in which the characters find themselves. In fact, “Night Patrol” shows the personal lives of three characters who, for various reasons, spend most of their lives at work.

It could have been a very mediocre story, but the film’s director, Anne Fontaine (formerly of the post-war drama Les Innocentes), constantly backtracks with flashbacks to the characters. This is how the reasons for the manifestation of rudeness, kindness and pedantry of police officers working overtime become clear.

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If “Night Patrol” was filmed in Hollywood, it would definitely be stuffed with platitudes and exaggerations. The French, on the other hand, made a non-pompous and somewhat romanticized movie about relationships, avoiding grandiloquent speeches or too glossy moments.

So, in the tape with a slight irony, it is shown that the automatic door lock in a police car is faulty, so it makes no sense to carry criminals in such cars, but who cares if the working days must continue.

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Thanks to this tone, “Night Patrol” practically avoids the themes of police brutality, at least in the case of the main characters. Before us are three ordinary people who wear uniforms and do their duty. When this is not enough, the director shows something more – moments from everyday challenges that traumatize the main characters. Accidents and episodes of domestic violence should not be in the mind of the characters when they enter the threshold of their house. But is it so easy to clear thoughts and leave working connections – it seems that the characters of the film only pretend that they can do it.

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Paying attention to the “Night Patrol” among other premieres of November, most likely, will be possible thanks to the actor Omar Sy, whom many remember from the film “1 + 1” (The Intouchables). In addition to him, the film starred the Belgian actress Virginie Efira and Gregory Gadebois, whom we recently saw in Roman Polanski’s film “An Officer and a Spy” (J’accuse).

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These actors do a great job with their characters, but Peyman Moaadi, an artist who portrays an illegal immigrant from Tajikistan, plays the best. His character does not understand what the French are talking about, and can only react to what is happening with facial expressions and eyes.

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“Night Patrol” is a fairly common European story that shows the human side of police work. Contrary to the plot around the deportation of a migrant, in the tape a much greater emphasis is placed on the romantic line and the personal ups and downs of the characters.

Conclusion:

at the Berlin Film Festival, the picture did not receive any awards, the film really does not make a big impression and is not a masterpiece. But this is a pleasant French movie, which is enough for an hour and a half of screen time.

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