Nikita (1990)

nikita_1990_poster
Nikita (1990)
  • Time: 115 min
  • Genre: Action | Thriller
  • Director: Luc Besson
  • Cast: Anne Parillaud, Jean-Hugues Anglade, Tchéky Karyo

Storyline:

Nikita is a young lady who with three Nihilist friends commit robbery and murder while on drugs. After her trial she is not executed or taken to prison, but to a school for special operatives. She is told that Nikita no longer exists and she will be trained to pay back society for what she has done, as a spy/assassin. She is trained for over two years and with no warning is handed a gun in a restaurant and told to kill the man at the next table as her handler leaves.

One review

  • Christopher

    On paper, Nikita doesn’t sound to promising. In the wrong hands, the idea of a criminal being trained to become a top assassin sounds like a story that would be campy, ridiculous, and over-the-top, almost comic book like. Luckily, Nikita was in the right hands as the end result is way better than expected. The script is well written, the cinematography is beautiful, and the directing is exciting more often than not. That said, what ultimately makes Nikita work as well as it does is lead Anne Parillaud as Nikita. Parillaud doesn’t have much dialogue in the first act. This leaves her to do most of her acting with facial expressions. With a lesser actress, this could have been disastrous. However, Parillaud is a strong actress and is able to pull the role off well. Perhaps it is due to her lack of dialogue that I find the first half of the picture far superior to the second half.

    Once Nikita’s relationship with Marco begins, the film loses the same momentum it once had. This shift in tone is necessary to some extent in order to show Nikita is able to love and be human. At the same time, the result makes the film feel a bit uneven. The romance-filled middle almost feels like it belongs in another movie altogether. The romance is helped by the good performances, but the tone isn’t quite right. It’s a problem that probably could have been fixed in the editing process. It would be fascinating to see another cut of Nikita, one where the romance is drastically edited with scenes rearranged and maybe a few minutes taken out. For me, that would be a better version. I’m sure there are people who find the romantic segments the best part of Nikita. I am not one of them.

    There was never a sequel to Nikita, but the ending leaves room for one. Obviously too much time has gone by for a sequel to be made now, though I can picture one that begins right as Nikita ends. The perfect ending provides enough closure for the audience to be satisfied and just enough room for more. The ending is often the most important part in any storytelling medium, be it literature, theater, or film. The wrong ending can leave an audience frustrated. The wrong ending can even ruin the entire experience for an audience. With Nikita, Luc Besson has given the audience the most suitable ending, one that is completely satisfying. Nikita may not be perfect, though the material in the beginning and the end is so strong that only middle section prevents it from being a perfect movie.

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