Sentinelle is a 2021 French action thriller film directed by Julien Leclercq, written by Julien Leclercq and Matthieu Serveau and starring Olga Kurylenko, Marilyn Lima and Michel Nabokoff.
Klara (Olga Kurylenko) serves in Syria as an interpreter for the French Army as a part of Opération Chammal. During an operation against a suspected terrorist, she witnesses the man’s young son blowing himself up with explosives hidden on his body at his father’s behest. Traumatised by this experience, she is transferred home to Nice, where she reunites with her mother Maria (Antonia Malinova) and her sister Tania (Marilyn Lima) and continues to serve in counter-terrorist operations as part of Opération Sentinelle. On patrol, her trauma manifests itself in impulsive, sometimes disproportionally violent proceedings against suspects, and she begins to turn to drugs.
One night, Klara and Tania go out to a nightclub, where Klara separates from her sister for a lesbian tryst with another patron. The next evening, she is notified that Tania has been found raped and savagely beaten into a coma. Conducting her own investigation, she inspects the club’s security footage and photographs a young man Tania was with on that night. Captain Muller of the French Police (Carole Weyers), who is leading the investigation in this case, identifies the suspect as Yvan Kadnikov (Andrey Gorlenko), son of Leonid Kadnikov (Michel Nabokoff), a very influential Russian tycoon. While Ivan is suspected and investigated, he is hiding out in his father’s villa at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, and both have diplomatic passports, making them untouchable to the law without complicated legal processes.
Unwilling to wait, Klara tries to catch Yvan at the nightclub and get him to confess, but is caught and evicted. Later, she infiltrates Leonid’s villa to find him but is captured by Leonid’s bodyguards. Leonid begins taunting her, freely admitting that he, not Yvan, has raped Tania since Yvan is homosexual. He leaves her to be drowned by his guards, but Klara fights free and escapes. Tania later awakens from her coma, but decides not to press charges, despite Klara’s urging for her to do so. While taking a break during her visit, Klara catches a news report in which Leonid states that he will be returning to Russia soon, and right afterwards Tania has a sudden embolism. Suspecting an attempt at her sister’s life, Klara pursues and catches the assassin, sent by Leonid and disguised as a nurse, before the latter can escape.
Now fully bent on revenge, Klara steals several weapons from her garrison’s armoury and sneaks into Leonid’s hideout. After killing the bodyguards, she throws Leonid off a bannister when he tries to bribe her. Leaving him for dead, she retreats before a tactical police unit arrives, but Leonid has unexpectedly survived the fall. However, three months later, Klara manages to fulfil her revenge by ambushing Leonid in his Dubai hotel suite and stabbing his jugular vein with a fork. She secretly travels back to Nice one last time to look after Tania, who has physically fully recovered from her ordeal. After exchanging a brief, silent look with her sister, Klara takes her leave, now as a fugitive from the law.
- Olga Kurylenko as Klara.
- Marilyn Lima as Tania.
- Michel Nabokoff as Leonid Kadnikov.
- Martin Swabey as Lieutenant Eric Jaubert.
- Carole Weyers as Capitaine Catherine Muller.
- Andrey Gorlenko as Yvan Kadnikov.
- Gabriel Almaer as Armourer.
- Antonia Malinova as Maria Kovalev, Klara and Tania’s mother.
- Blaise Afonso as Opération Sentinelle Soldier.
- Guillaume Duhesme as Lieutenant Colonel.
- Michel Biel as Aurélien..
The film was shot over 35 days in November and December of 2019, in Brussels, Belgium, Nice, France, and Casablanca, Morocco. However, post-production was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Critical assessments on Sentinelle were mixed to negative.
Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Julien Leclercq.
- Philippe Guez … line producer.
- Julien Leclercq … producer.
- Julien Madon … producer.
- Bastien Sirodot … co-producer.
- Julien Leclercq … (scenario & dialogue).
- Matthieu Serveau … (scenario & dialogue).
- Cinematography … Brecht Goyvaerts.
- Editor(s): Soline Guyonneau.
- Production: Labyrinthe Films.
- Distributor(s): Netflix.
- Release Date: 05 March 2021 (Internet).
- Running Time: minutes.
- Rating: 18.
- Country: France.
- Language: French and English (subtitles).