Our film begins with the introduction of officers Virginie (Virginie Efira), Erik (Gregory Gadebois) & Aristide (Omar Sy). The introduction of the film gives us a sneak peek of their personal lives and some of the drama each character is attempting to overcome. Right away it’s evident Night Shift is a drama film. Soon, the Police Force announces a job involving an illegal immigrant being escorted from prison and safely dropped off at an airport. Our three leads have no interest in going home, so they raise their hands for the task.
But as the night shift for our three leading characters begins, reveals are made involving each officers’ personal lives and the truth about the immigrant. Tension begins to grow as difficult choices must be made.
Performances in this film are pleasing. We see our officers dealing with the standard pressure of work-life and more profound stress relating to personal matters. Each actor carries this personal touch on-screen rather nicely, bringing convincing characters alive. These performances also remind the world that police officers have emotional and personal problems too.
But sadly, Night Shift’s pacing and plot is highly questionable. While character introductions are always appreciated, Night Shift takes a far longer approach which hurts the film’s setup and first act. The introduction of our leads has a runtime of over forty-five minutes! Some moments within the character introductions do give flattering details, but they also provide unnecessary elements.
With a title like Night Shift, I was surprised to see how long it takes until the film’s title and core plot comes into full effect. I found myself waiting for some excitement or something major regarding the plot to occur throughout with hopes it would move up at least one gear. Sadly, not a lot happens. Small amounts of tension begin to show, but this tension then fizzles in a matter of seconds. I could not help thinking this film missed many opportunities that could have made this movie more gripping and memorable.
Overall, Night Shift is filled with tremendous and convincing performances from all three leading actors. But sadly, the film also includes slow and dragged-out character introductions which take up far too much of the duration of the film. The core of the plot is also filled with dull moments and missed opportunities. Based on the plot and premise, I prepared myself for something far more exciting than the end results I witnessed on the big screen.
Night Shift (2020) is Available At The Alliance Française French Film Festival 2021!