"plays on the idea of conspiracy theories but highlights they needn’t be far-fetched in tone"

François Cluzet (Untouchable) is a middle-aged man, who’s in financial strife, and looking for work after two years of complete and utter burn-out, when he gets hired by a mysterious employer, who ask him to transcribe phone tapped conversations. He is then propelled into the heart of a large-scale political plot and becomes trapped in the French secret service underworld.

Scribe (aka La mecanique) is an edge-of-your-seat drama, which takes inspiration from the Lebanon hostage crisis of 1983-1984, when three French citizens were kidnapped but their release was apparently withheld by the government in order to benefit the presidential candidate, Jacques Chirac, who was then prime minister.

An edgy drama set during the time of an election, with clear parallels being drawn from the right-wing campaigns of Marine Le Pen and Donald Trump.

“The Eavesdropper,” had at one time been the title of the film, and the script is the kind that keeps audiences on tenterhooks right up until the delicious denouement.

Duval in need of work allows himself to believe that Clément is perhaps part of the French national security, and allows for a routine to develop till he hears what appears to be the murder of a Libyan businessman. Now trapped inside a nightmare of uncertain loyalties, he must play in a game he does not understand, one that becomes increasingly nail-biting.

All the while in the background an election campaign is running, where the conservative candidate, Philippe Chalamont’s slogan is “France is back.” Scribe plays on the idea of conspiracy theories but highlights they needn’t be far-fetched in tone.

Cluzet brings a kind of credibility and depth to his character, which cannot be said to the same degree as an inconsistent held script. The visuals are crisp, and suitably match the ever changing mood of the characters.