FILMELY : Bastille Day 2016: An American Pickpocket and a CIA Agent in Paris

Jun 12, 2023

Bastille Day 2016: An American Pickpocket and a CIA Agent in Paris

Bastille Day (also known as The Take) is a 2016 action film by James Watkins, considered a joint venture between Luxembourg, France and the United States. In the film, American talented pickpocket Michael Mason (Richard Madden) residing in Paris accidentally gets entangled in a terrorist bombing here, and gradually becomes a reluctant partner for CIA agent Sean Briar (Idris Elba). 

Bastille Day 2016 @  Amazon,

The Take (2016) on IMDb


"Bastille Day" Plot

On the eve of Bastille Day in Paris (France's National Day on July 14), Michael Mason steals a young woman's handbag without knowing it contained explosives. After taking the money from bag, he throws it away in a garbage basket. The bag then explodes and kills four people, that triggers widespread demonstration in the city.

When captured by CIA agent Sean Briar, Michael Mason tries to convince him that he is not a terrorist, and points to a cell phone belonging to a woman named Zo矇 (Charlotte Le Bon) that he found in the bag.

The bombing was actually staged by a group of corrupt policemen led by Rafi Bertrand (Thierry Godard), all members of the French special forces RAPID. The bombing plan is a distraction for them to carry out a robbery at the Bank of France. Zo矇 is Jean's girlfriend, one of the masterminds, and was persuaded by him to do this but gave up at the last minute.

Upon learning that Rafi Bertrand's group will kill Zo矇, Jean arranges for her to flee; he is also later killed by his own men.

Bertrand's team creates fake terrorist evidence at a mosque and causes a nationwide uproar among the Muslim community there.

Mason and Briar track down Zo矇's hideout to uncover the truth and engage in a riot at the Bank of France to foil Rafi Bertrand's robbery plot.

Bastille Day Film and the Bloody Nice Truck Attack in 2016

In France, the film was released on July 13, 2016 in coincidence  with the dates in the story. Coincidentally again, on the evening of July 14, 2016, a 19-ton cargo truck intentionally plowed into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day on the Pedestrian Street des Anglais in Nice, France, killing 86 people and injuring 434 others. The perpetrator was Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a Tunisian living in France. The attack ended after a gunfight in which Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was shot dead by police.

Following this attack, Studiocanal - the agency in charge of releasing the film in France decided to pull Bastille Day movie from theaters on July 17, 2016, as a "gesture of respect for the victims and their families".


Idris Elba ... Sean Briar, a CIA agent.
Richard Madden ... Michael Mason, an American pickpocket living in Paris.
Charlotte Le Bon ... Zo矇 Naville, an anti-fascist protestor.
Kelly Reilly ... Karen Dacre, a senior CIA agent.
Jos矇 Garcia ... Victor Gamieux, the director of the DGSI.
Thierry Godard ... Rafi Bertrand, a corrupt commander in the French National Police RAPID Unit.
Anatol Yusef ... Tom Luddy, leader of the CIA surveillance unit in Paris.
Eriq Ebouaney ... Baba, Mason's black market contact for stolen goods.
Arieh Worthalter ... Jean.
St矇phane Caillard ... Beatrice.