‘Sentinelle’ (2023) Ending Explained & Movie Summary: Is Florence Dead?

Prime Video’s French movie Sentinelle, written and directed by Hugo Benamozig and David Caviglioli, is a laugh riot, with hilarious performances and some great comedic dialogue. Comedies are a bland genre these days, but the French movie is one of the most rollicking comedies to have come out in recent times. What’s great is that there is a cohesive plot as well, which enhances the characters and brings out the laughs. The movie is a fun ride throughout as we follow the cop/singer François Sentinelle on his adventures while solving a case for the President of Réunion Island. The titular character is a complete buffoon, and how he has kept his job for over twenty years as the Chief of Police is beyond anyone’s guess. But once he gets a case of importance, his days seem numbered.

Spoilers Ahead


Plot Synopsis: What happens In The Movie?

On Réunion Island, Sentinelle is the boss, or rather, he acts like one. He thinks he can do anything and won’t be held accountable. In charge of the Saint-Denis Police Force, Sentinelle seems to be the favorite of the President of the Regional Council of Réunion Island, a woman named Florence Cazeaux-Rocher. This may be the only reason he hasn’t been fired and tried in court. His subordinate, Morriset, is the only cop in the whole police unit who is conscientious and wants to properly render the duties of a cop. Sentinelle wasn’t really interested in his job as a cop, as he had his hands full with his passion for music. He had a hit music video years ago, and his whole focus is to become a star again in the music industry. For Sentinelle, everything is secondary to the music video that he plans to shoot. When Florence is threatened by a terrorist group named ‘Red Arm,’ Sentinelle is contacted to solve the case. The truth was much more sinister, and Sentinelle’s skill set was nowhere near the caliber required to figure things out.


Why Was Valery Kidnapped?

Florence was the President of the Regional Council and was a descendant of men who had ruled over the region for many decades. There were some allegations about her lineage and how they were slave owners. ‘Red Arm’ was an underground organization that wanted Florence to step down as a way of acknowledging the wrongdoings of her ancestors. Florence was not budging, and hence, her husband Valery seemed to have been kidnapped as a way of sending a message. The identity of the Red Arm members was not known to anyone. They did make a video stating their intentions while they had their masks on. Sentinelle was given the task of finding out who these men were and where they had taken Valery. The situation was getting tense as the regional council elections were on the way. A man named Chakravarty was standing as Florence’s rival, and he suspended his election campaign as a sign of respect for Florence’s distressing situation.


How Did Sentinelle Get His First Clue?

Thanks to Morriset, who was the only member of the entire Saint Denis Police Force with a head on his shoulders, Sentinelle got his first clue. Morriset did some research and found that the Red Arm was a 200-year-old organization believed to have been started by the slaves who had survived and escaped from France. He found an expert, a woman named Amandine, who taught about the subject at a nearby university. Sentinelle and Morriset reached the university and met Amandine. There, she told them that Red Arm didn’t actually exist. There was no proof of their existence, apart from the legends of folklore. It meant that whoever these guys were, either they were imitating the legendary organization or were decoys to distract from some other crime. In their video threatening Florence, Amandine noticed that they were quoting from her book on the subject of Red Arm, and their masks were exact replicas of the drawings in the book. The meaning was clear. The terrorists had read Amandine’s book. The fact that helped was that only a handful of copies of Amandine’s book were ever published, and they were in the university’s library. Gilles, Florence’s assistant, was the only one who had borrowed the book.


How Did Sentinelle Solve The Case?

Morriset was doing most of the heavy lifting as a cop. Sentinelle was just after the fame that seemed to be eluding him. Solving this case would make him a legend, as it is one of the most high-profile cases the island has ever seen. Sentinelle, after getting his first clue, informed Florence that Gilles was working for the Red Arm. Gilles had been in touch with a musician named Sorcerer, who had something to do with this whole fiasco with the Red Arm. Sentinelle must have thought he had impressed Florence with his deduction skills, but he had just given her a head start to cover up her fraud.

The truth was that Florence had set the whole plan in motion because she wanted to boost her popularity before the elections. She had ordered Gilles to form an organization that would look like it wanted to assassinate her. So Gilles researched a bit and, while reading Amandine’s book, realized that the Red Arm could be a credible organization, as it had links to France and there was a thread connecting slavery and Florence’s ancestry. Now that she knew Sentinelle was coming to arrest Gilles, she decided to order Sorcerer, who actually had kidnapped Valery, to send men and kill Gilles before he was questioned by Sentinelle. The plan failed, as Gilles fought back and killed the two men who had come to murder him. Things got complicated as he himself died of his wounds.

Sorcerer wanted to release Valery after learning that Sentinelle may get on to him after investigating his men, but the elections were not over just yet. Meanwhile, Sentinelle and Morriset were on to a guy named Jonas Terrence, who had sent the guys to kill Gilles. Jonas escaped, but a message on one of the burner phones in his apartment connected Sorcerer to everything. But Sentinelle was too enamored to suspect a fellow musician. Morisset figured out one thing, though. The two guys that were killed by Gilles were being contacted by burner phones, but who was ordering Gilles? There was no contact between Gilles and the mastermind behind the whole thing. So he concluded that Gilles must have been physically meeting the head of the Red Arm. His intuition said that Florence had Valery kidnapped through Gilles, and this Red Arm scheme was her brainchild, which was executed by Gilles. Sentinelle didn’t believe him, and Morriset was fired.

Florence had gotten away with it all, but Sentinelle’s love for music made him seek out the Sorcerer. Florence had ordered Sentinelle’s producer Fredo to get Sentinelle back in the music business and release his video so that he would stop poking his nose in Valery’s case. She had won the election and didn’t need any more heat on the case. She had contacted Sentinelle only because she was certain he wouldn’t pay any attention to this fake case. But everything went haywire, as Sentinelle continued to be in the wrong palace at the wrong time, as far as Florence was concerned. She killed Sorcerer and Jonas, but Sentinelle arrived on the scene, probably hoping to star in a video with Sorcerer. There, he realized that Morriset’s theory was correct. Florence would have killed Sentinelle, but through luck, he survived. Morriset shot Florence dead right before she was going to kill Sentinelle. He had arrived with the Internal Affairs officers, who arrested Sentinelle for all the blatant misuse of power and neglectful behavior he had committed while being in the police force. Valery survived, although his fingers were blown off by Sentinelle while he was trying to free him.


Did Sentinelle Get To Follow His Passion?

During Sentinelle‘s ending, Officer François was given a triumphant send off at the police station. One day, Morriset came to see his ex-superior. It turns out Morriset had married Amandine, and Sentinelle married the much older Maryse, Florence’s housekeeper. Who else would have married the buffoon! Sentinelle had started a private detective agency in the guise of a resort, where all the bartenders were agents. Sentinelle was going to cause as much trouble as he did before and it seemed he had not learned a single lesson from his chaotic past. He had seen Sorcerer perform and realized he didn’t have the talent for singing. So, he decided to stick to producing. Hopefully, he won’t cause irredeemable damage, or else Morriset would have to put him away for good.


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Ayush Awasthi
Ayush Awasthi
Ayush is a perpetual dreamer, constantly dreaming of perfect cinematic shots and hoping he can create one of his own someday.

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