When Gino ‘Gigi’ meets Bénédicte ‘Bibi’ at the racetrack, it’s love at first sight. But can their devotion save a love that may already be lost?
About : Racer and the Jailbird
It’s love at first sight at the racing circuit when gangster Gino (‘Gigi’) meets Benedicte (‘Bibi’), a wealthy and fearless racing driver. Fierce and loyal, Gigi and Bibi fight for their love against fate, reason and their own weaknesses. But how far can endurance be stretched? How far can they go to try and save what may already be lost?
In “Racer and the Jailbird,” Bénédicte (Exarchopoulos), known as Bibi , is a professional race-car driver, and though the film tries to showcase her sexuality in that role with an enlightened lack of exoticism, it can’t resist playing it both ways: When Bibi first takes off her helmet and bulky racer’s uniform, revealing the comely feminine presence beneath, the scene is shot and edited to make you go, “Wow, I didn’t expect that!” Maybe that’s because the audience is taking in the moment through the eyes of Gino (Schoenaerts), known as Gigi, who is instantly smitten.
In “Racer and the Jailbird,” that’s the “good” dramatic obstacle — the compelling one — because it sets up a tense psychological situation: Can a healthy romance grow and form, like a pearl, round the sandy kernel of a lie? (Probably not.) But if Gigi reveals all to Bibi, will he just end up chasing her away? (Maybe so.) Roskam has made several other ambitious underworld films (notably the terrific Brooklyn thriller “The Drop,” starring Tom Hardy), and it feels cleansing, after so much deadening American genre junk, to see a European movie make it look like the most natural thing in the world to regard a criminal as a vulnerable human being.
Original title Le Fidèle
TMDb Rating 6.6 votes