The latest in a long. ongoing series of joint DVD releases from Icarus Films and Distrib Films provides a twofer in the form of character studies with strong social commentary. The February 2, 2021 release of the French drama "Night Shift" provides insight into the hearts, minds, and souls of the titular cops who learn that a tough moral dilemma is the price for breaking the cardinal rule against volunteering for anything.
The following trailer perfectly conveys the tone and the style of this tale about the human side of boys (and girls) in blue whose jobs require following orders without question.
Roughly the first half of "Shift" depicts the trauma and the drama that leads to the more intense central angst of the film. Showing the same events from different perspectives helps sets the stage for the main event,
Virginie is a not-so-happily married cop, who has a not-so-pleasant "morning after" medical procedure scheduled for when her shift ends. The role of fellow law-enforcement officer Aristide as to that influences much of the action throughout the film.
Erik is the hardened veteran of the group; his backstory includes his own marital woes and his struggles with his "conceal, don't feel" approach to his job. He additionally clearly is the most by-the-book member of the group.
The nightly "be careful out there" meeting for our unlikely bedfellows includes an announcement that a fire at a prison requires requesting volunteers to escort illegal immigrant Asomidin to a flight back to his native land. As previously mentioned, the three aforementioned cops are the saps who offer to give this guy who may be a terrorist or a refugee a ride to the airport.
"Shift" takes on a particularly strong live-stage vibe when the cops begin their Uber duty. Virginie is the first one to get insight that makes her want to let their passenger take a powder. Of course, Erik is fully on the other side of that Kinsey Scale.
Further discussion wears down Erik, who seems to be more interested in getting Virginie to shut up then to do the right thing. It seems that Aristide is willing to abide by the decision of the group; the aforementioned character study shows that this "keep calm and carry on" 'tude is very consistent as to this man literally and figuratively in the middle on a few levels.
One of the best scenes also is the most insightful; Asomidin having excellent reason to not trust mankind jeopardizes taking advantage of a get-out-of-jail free card.
The true genius of the film comes near the end when it is shown that it ain't over until the blonde lady sings. This leads to "morning-after" events for all concerned; the most symbolic of these in a highly thoughtful films comes at the end.
The big picture this time is interesting but not especially insightful; we show how the range of experiences of cops is behind the roulette wheel as to (as personal experience has shown) whether a guy who does not do threatening at all will be cornered and aggressively grilled after proving beyond any doubt whatsoever that he merely was walking down the street or will be treated in a reasonable manner.