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Based on the true story of Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, a Venezuelan revolutionary who set up his own terrorist organisation in the 70s.


[This review is of the abridged 165 minute cut of Carlos]

Another illustration of how TV is moving beyond cinema for great drama, Olivier Assayas’ superb French mini-series is available to watch in both its original form and in a shortened version. Sadly, its small screen origins mean Edgar Ramirez’s hypnotic performance in the title role of ’70s terrorist poster-boy Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, aka Carlos (The Jackal), is ineligible for the Best Actor Oscar. It’s testament to Assayas’ teleplay, though, that rather than tightening the story, the curtailed movie version feels like a detraction from the longer experience; too often there’s a feeling we’re being rushed through a much deeper, magnificently accomplished piece of storytelling. Both versions will be available on DVD on November 1.

Ramirez's outstanding performance and Assayes' superb skill in storytelling make this a mini-series not to be missed.