Though rough edges are very much part of picture's fabric and charm, the current two-hour-plus edit is too choppy, with many sequences feeling rushed or underdeveloped.
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The messiness of the film seems appropriate to its subject, which is the attempt to bring at least a measure of order - and even a touch of grace - to a chaotic and frequently ugly reality.
If you're the type who unwinds by watching "The Wire" or "Law & Order: SVU," you might appreciate this grim procedural drama from French actress Maïwenn. There's no denying its power: It took home the Jury Prize at Cannes last year. But for most, Polisse will be tough going.
Polisse has been compared to "The Wire," but beyond a shared interest in the Sisyphean nature of police work, the two are mostly comparable as inverses of each other.
Polisse builds to one of the most hilariously misguided climaxes ever conceived; let's just say that this soapy symphony of squalor literally doesn't stick the landing.
The film can be rambling and glib, yet it's no mere crime drama. It captures a middle-class French society that looks more humane than ours, but is just as messed up.
Actress and director Maïwenn Le Besco (a.k.a. Maïwenn) confounds expectations by drawing together a heart-thumping patchwork of dramas and emotions.
The best moments of Maïwenn's Polisse, about the dedicated members of a Child Protection Unit in northern Paris, have the same quality, a fly-on-the-wall docu-realism that feels eerily like the real thing.