Carlos The Jackal
Sometimes when deciding what DVDs want to watch, it’s be purely on impulse, such as anything with Jason Statham in it. Other times I’ll read up on the film or watch a trailer. Other times it will be a film I’ve been wanting to see for a while. And then there are the times when I just think; that sounds like it could be interesting, and leave it at that.
Carlos The Jackal is the latter. It sounded like an interesting film looking at the life of the infamous terrorist and revolutionary, Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, better know by his self named moniker, Carlos the Jackal.
Though he had committed a few acts of terror before hand, including the shooting of three French Police officers, Carlos would become known for his audacious 1975 attack on the OPEC headquarters in Vienna, where he took over 60 people, including Oil Ministers from many OPEC nations, hostage.
Whilst the outcome of the hostage taking is shown as to failure in the film, it put Carlos in a position that saw him weave his way through the complexities of international politics as he lived like a ghost, staying hidden whilst working for various organisations in many different countries.
On one level it’s a fascinating, engrossing story of a revolutionary figure who lived in a time before everything was blamed on Al-Qaeda. But on another it’s a disjointed, hard to follow film that seems to be missing big chunks. So obvious is this in places that I had to fire up the laptop right after watching to do some research.
I discovered that it was originally filmed as a five and a half hour French TV series which was screened in it’s entirety at Cannes in 2010 and is now available in New Zealand as a hacked down two and a half hour film, as well as a four disc DVD set or 3 disc BluRay set, each, according to Might Ape, clocking in at just over 8 hours long – though I’m pretty sure that either Might Ape can;t do their maths, or they’ve included a whole lot of special features in their runtime!
With a little investigation I would have avoided the film and gone for the full three part BluRay edition.
The only other slightly niggling part was that this French produced film/TV Show portrayed Carlos in a certain unfavorable light – more than just that he was a terrorist – and it comes off as feeling a little petty, as if they were wanting to get one back for Carlos shooting the three French Cops. It just seemed a little off.
Carlos The Jackal, in either form, won’t be for everyone, but if you’ve seen and enjoyed the The Baader Meinhof Complex, then it’s certainly recommended viewing.
Reviewed by: Jonathan