I’ve been dying to watch Arsène Lupin (2004) ever since I caught a glimpse of the costumes on Kristin Scott Thomas and Eva Green. Set primarily around the turn of the 20th century, designer Pierre-Jean Larroque‘s (The Lady and the Duke, Molière) costumes looked absolutely exquisite. Sadly it took forever to find a subtitled version, but I recent came across it on Amazon, and my toes twinkled in delight … until the plot put me to sleep.
Arsène Lupin is a character created by French writer Maurice Leblanc, and has been featured in a number of short stories and novels. He’s a “gentleman thief” who works for good despite that whole thief thing. There have been a number of film adaptations, including one in 1932 starring John Barrymore.
The 2004 film mixes mystery with martial arts and some steampunk-y elements. The basic premise is that Lupin’s father, a kickboxer (??), was killed when he was young, and he was separated from his cousin, Clarisse (Eva Green from Penny Dreadful). As an adult, he meets and becomes involved with Josephine (Kristin Scott Thomas), who may be immortal, and to protect her, Lupin goes up against a secret society in search of hidden treasure. Along the way, he is reintroduced to Clarisse, who he also has a thing for. Oh, and the famous “Affair of the Necklace” necklace apparently still exists (it doesn’t) and was passed down by Marie-Antoinette to Clarisse’s family.
While this all sounds just fine, it’s just that — fine. Lupin is played by Romain Duris (Molière), who would be SOOO my type if he didn’t have some weird upper teeth/lip thing going on.
Thomas and Green play their parts well, even if Green’s Clarisse is pretty much the stereotypical good girl love interest.
But the plot just drags, and everything is comic-book-y and over-the-top, and I just didn’t really care about any of the characters. Okay, except Josephine, who was badass.
Luckily, the costumes WERE fabulous eye candy, so it has that going for it!
Did you find Arsène Lupin entertaining? Am I just a heathen? Discuss!