Jean-Luc Godard is the fucking man! During 2020, I have reviewed four other films directed by him and I gotta say that he hasn’t failed me as a fan yet. Le Petit Soldat was the third film that he and powerhouse actress Anna Karina collaborated on. It’s technically the second feature length film that he finished but due to some of the torture scenes, it was banned in French theaters for three years. So really, it’s the first project that Godard and Karina worked on together and they got married shortly after filming it.
We are in the middle of the Algerian War for independence from France. Bruno Forestier, a Frenchman living in Geneva belongs to a right wing terrorist group. He lives there to avoid enlistment, but is assigned to kill an underground leftist Arab leader named Palivoda. He hesitates on carrying out the assignment when he meets Véronica Dreyer, a mysterious young woman of Russian ancestry who secretly works for the left wing group led by Palivoda. They start to fall in love and even plan an escape to Brazil, but the circumstances prove to be very difficult.
Michel Subor is putting in some pretty solid work as Bruno and Anna Karina provides a seemingly effortless performance as Véronica. She’s totally mesmerizing and the camera is clearly obsessed with her. Raoul Coutard was Jean-Luc Godard’s go to cinematographer back in the day. In fact, every Godard directed film I’ve watched so far has also consisted of Coutard working as the cinematographer. I feel like I’m in really good hands creatively when I’m watching one of their films and Le Petit Soldat might be my favorite so far.