LA FEMME NIKITA
Release Date: March 08, 1991
Genre: Psychological Drama
Rating: Not rated
Runtime: 120 minutes
Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn
Director: Luc Besson
Producer: Jerome Chalou
Writer: Luc Besson
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The film opens as young hoodlums break into a retail store in Paris, gun down the owner and are gunned down themselves, except for Nikita, who is captured by police. Between curse words, handcuffed, kicking Nikita cries out for her mother as police take her to jail.
In prison, the police attempt to rehabilitate nineteen-year-old Nikita, but to serve their purposes. She proves nearly incorrigible, screaming terrible obscenities, attacking the man assigned to her as custodian, Armande, and generally creating mayhem because of her violent nature.
Armande, however, does commend her in time for progress in her Arts and Dance class. Through dance, Nikita gives vent to another side of her nature: the artistic, feminine side.
After "graduation" from school, she is released by Armande on her first mission. Soon, Nikita meets Marco, a cashier at the local grocery, and they share an apartment. Nikita's feminine nature blossoms under Marco's love.
Despite Nikita's and Marco's love, the police continue to sponsor Nikita in various missions, although Marco is unaware of her secret life. Thus, Nikita often finds herself involved in bloody shoot-outs, killing people and running to escape would-be assailants. One ruthless scene shows Nikita's accomplice, Victor, pouring acid over his hapless victims after depositing them in a bathtub as Nikita screams in horror at their writhing bodies.
Near film's end, Nikita tells Marco, "You're the most beautiful person I've ever met. You've helped only me." Everyone else has used her. However, as Marco tries to get her released from police involvement, he finds her suicide note.
LA FEMME NIKITA is a well-crafted movie, and through its juxtaposition of stark, interior walls with Nikita's erratic emotions, reflects her emotional turmoil. In the final analysis, LA FEMME NIKITA is not concerned with telling a story, but rather with Nikita's response to her world. The film presents a depersonalized view of man, evident in Nikita's lack of real choices. In fact, her principal decision consists of taking her life.
Although MOVIEGUIDE cannot recommend LA FEMME NIKITA because of the graphic violence, rebellion and foul language, we can take heart as Christians that we serve a God of hope and not of despair. Thus, the Apostle Paul prays: "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Rom. 15:13). If Nikita had known this God of hope, she would not have taken her life; instead, she would have found it. As it is, this film is a bad example of a bad seed, which will only sow despair in those who see it.
LA FEMME NIKITA is a well-crafted movie. It is not concerned with telling a story, but rather with Nikita's response to her world. The film presents a depersonalized view of man, evident in Nikita's lack of real choices. If Nikita had known the God of hope, she would not have taken her life; instead, she would have found it. As it is, this film is a bad example of a bad seed, which will only sow despair in those who see it.