Wingwomen, or Voleuses, is a new French action comedy film on Netflix that easily stands out because of its unique set of characters. The plot has two women, Carole and Alex, who work as professional thieves but now want to retire from a life of constant action and danger. But of course, their employer is not very pleased with such a proposition, and a set of problems with regard to this soon arise. While the plot in Wingwomen is nothing too unique or unexpected, the female characters at the center and their bond with each other make the French film a rather enjoyable watch.
Plot Summary: What is the film about?
Wingwomen begins right in the middle of the action, as the protagonists, Carole and Alex, are on a dangerous mission somewhere in Switzerland. While Carole, the elder and more experienced of the two women, is carrying out the more difficult task of stealing diamonds from a facility, Alex covers for her from a nearby forested hill, as her expertise is in sniping from a distance. On her way back from the facility with the stolen goods, Carole loses her way in the forest and has to rely on Alex’s directions, but the latter is momentarily distracted by a phone call in which her current lover breaks up with her. This has been a constant problem in Alex’s life: every man leaves her after a short while, and the woman’s efforts to find love have been failing for a long time. As the two protagonists finally meet up and drive away from the place, they are also chased by armed drones, which they have to skillfully shoot down in order to escape.
By the time they are back home in Paris and have handed over the stolen diamonds to their contact, Carole is absolutely done with this nefarious life of always having to fear for her safety. Along with being partners in crime, Carole and Alex are best friends, and they also stay together, always looking after each other’s needs. But despite this tight bond, Carole has kept one secret from her friend—that she is six weeks pregnant and is unsure whether she wants to keep the child. After all, the pregnancy is from a casual hookup, and so she has to raise the child by herself, which is all the more difficult because of her unusual life as a criminal. Without making any mention of the baby, Carole tells Alex that she wants to quit this line of work, and the friend also readily agrees.
However, the employer of the two, a powerful criminal boss known as Godmother, absolutely refuses to accept such a proposition. Godmother had known Carole for a very long time, even having worked with her during their initial days, and she simply refuses to let Carole retire. After some threats from both sides, Carole agrees to carry out one last heist for Godmother, for which she will even be paid a hefty price of two million dollars, and following which she and Alex will retire in peace.
What is the plan for the heist?
Once Carole agrees to the heist that Godmother wants her to carry out, she goes to meet with Abner, the man who works as the master planner of all heists for the criminal boss. It is evident that Abner has worked with the women earlier as well, and he lays out the exact details of their mission once they reach his house. Carole and Alex are to steal a famous painting named La Grande Odalisque by renowned French artist Martial Raysse. The painting is to be put up for exhibition at a center for the arts on the island of Corsica, and it is from there that the protagonists have to steal it. Although getting hold of a painting in such an illegal manner is definitely easier when it is at an exhibition center than at a museum, the protagonists also need to get a map of the building in order to steal the painting efficiently. An architectural firm that had recently redesigned the art center building would surely have the blueprints of the place, and so they have to first steal this data as well. Abner gives them a local contact, too, a man named Clarence, who would supply them with all the guns and ammunition needed for the heist.
Along with all of this, the team also now has to add a third member for the position of getaway driver. Alex is immensely upset at this new finding, for she was the one always driving herself and Carole around during missions, and as is presented through a funny flashback scene, Alex is not always the most patient or careful driver. Carole’s decision to opt for a professional driver instead of her best friend seems to be because of her pregnancy, which she still decides to keep a secret. The two women go down to the Le Mans racetrack to meet with their new getaway driver, Sam, and despite them thinking that Sam would be a man, the driver actually turns out to be a woman who drives race cars professionally. This adds some tension in the group since Alex is unwilling to trust a new woman, that too, someone who was replacing her role as the driver.
It does not take very long to convince Sam to join the group, though, since she gets fired by her egoistic male teammate. Together, the three women reach Corsica and settle at a luxury villa that has been arranged for them by Godmother. Since they have a considerable number of days to carry out the whole plan, the women start to go out and make acquaintances with the important contacts and places one after another. First, they visit the shop of Clarence, which looks like a grocery store on the front but is actually a hideout for his successful arms trafficking business. Alex, who is forever in search of love, is immediately smitten by the handsome looks and goofy personality of Clarence, and she puts all efforts into meeting the man again and making him fall for her. Incidentally, Alex’s interest in Clarence also gets her into slight trouble since the arms trafficker has many enemies, and one such man intrudes when the two are sharing an intimate moment. As Clarence is knocked out by the attacker, Alex has to fight him all by herself, and she manages to kill him.
During this time, Sam also receives her training from Carole and Alex, since the woman has never held a gun or participated in heists ever before in her life. Alex is extra tough on her, only to mess with her, but Sam is determined enough to keep pushing herself and learn the ropes of the business. Some more about her past is also revealed, as she lost her beloved wife only some time ago in a horrific car crash since the wife was a stunt driver. Within the next few days, though, Carole and Alex completely open up to Sam, and the three become really close friends. Godmother, who visits Carole secretly, wants her to get rid of Alex and replace her with Sam, but Carole has no intention of breaking up their close-knit trio.
What setbacks do the women face during the grand heist?
Along with being an action thriller, Wingwomen is a comedy in equal parts too, and so when the grand heist actually takes place, the three women have to face some rather funny setbacks as well. Before that, though, they first have to steal the blueprint of the art center, and Carole sends only Alex and Sam on this mission, deciding to herself to take some rest. At the renovation company’s office, Alex once again provides cover from a distance while Sam sneaks in and downloads the blueprints onto a phone. There is slight trouble here as well when the employees return from break, and Alex hits them all with tranquilizer darts. One of the employees still manages to stay up and hit the alarm, making Sam fear getting caught, but ultimately, the plan is carried out successfully, with the floor plan of the art center also acquired.
Finally, the day of the heist arrives, and the entire team, including Abner, reach the area where the convent with the art center is. The plan is that Abner and his elderly girlfriend would pretend to be hot-dog sellers with their food truck, while they would actually keep a lookout for Carole and Alex, who would go into the building and steal the painting. Sam is given the responsibility of keeping the getaway car ready and waiting very close to the center. However, the entire plan is ruined as a huge shooting team arrives at the exact place, and it is revealed that a music video is being shot at the convent for famous French singer Mylene Farmer.
This sudden revelation has multiple effects, beginning with the fact that Abner and his girlfriend are now swarmed by innumerable customers asking for hot dogs, and they have to make and sell food in order to stick to their cover. To make things worse, Abner drops and spoils the earpiece with which he was communicating with Carole and Alex, making the two women have to work on their own. The shooting party also creates a problem for Sam since they refuse to allow her to park close to the art center, and she has to keep moving the getaway car around. At the most crucial moment, when Carole is carefully cutting out the Grand Odalisque painting from the wall, a man wanders into the place and keeps talking to her irritatingly, without even realizing that a robbery is going on. But despite these silly obstacles, the three women manage to safely steal the painting and then take it back to Paris in order to hand it over to Godmother.
Why Did Carole Fake Her Own Death?
After the heist is over and everyone is celebrating the success, Carole is seen receiving a call from a man with whom she discusses some secret plans. This scene does not come into play until the very end of Wingwomen, when the biggest twist in the plot is revealed. Before all that, though, the three women return to Paris, and Carole goes to meet with Godmother, but she knows very well that the inconsiderate crime boss will not actually let them retire. This is why Carole has a very specific plan, which she has not yet revealed to her friends. As always, Alex hides in the building on the opposite side, ready with her sniper rifle to provide cover for Carole. Sam waits on the street on her motorcycle, possibly to take Carole away if anything goes wrong.
Back inside the building, Godmother understands that Alex is readying her sniper rifle, and she threatens Carole that if anything happens to her, the rest of her gang and associates will also kill her. Carole, however, does not pay heed to these threats, and she asks Alex to shoot at the exact positions that she mentions. This immediately kills off the only bodyguard in the room and Godmother as well, and more bloodshed follows. The other guards in Godmother’s gang are the first to respond as they run into the room, and Alex shoots them down with her rifle. However, as a big troop of police forces arrives at the place, Carole admits that she will be unable to survive this encounter, and she wants Alex to escape. She mentions how she has paved a way of escape for her dear friend, and she is then seen being shot by the police. As Carole’s body, completely covered in a body bag, is taken away, Sam guides Alex towards the roof of the other building and ensures that the best friend manages to escape. This sudden self-sacrifice of Carole does not fit in well with the fact that she had chosen to keep her baby, since she would not have first decided to keep the baby and then get it killed through her plan of essentially committing suicide.
However, Wingwomen‘s ending makes everything clear, as we see Sam visit Alex in her home somewhere far away from any city. Four years have passed since the last events in Paris, and Sam now wants to take Alex somewhere. Despite her initial reluctance, Alex does comply, and she is then taken to a different place where only a small house exists in the middle of vast deserts. Here, a little girl introduces herself as Raoule, and this was the exact name that Alex had decided for Carole’s baby. Carole also immediately walks out and greets her friend, revealing that she had not actually died but had been living in hiding for these four years.
The man that Carole had spoken to over the phone must have been the one who had helped her carry out this plan. While the man can actually be the biological father of Raoule, he can also be just a professional associate of Carole. It is evident that he is extremely powerful, though, as he managed to stage a group of police forces that had entered the building in Paris during the shootout and had faked killing Carole. Had Carole been free and on the outside, Godmother’s associates would have surely killed her and Alex out of revenge, and so she had to fake her own death for both their sake. After the fake death of Carole, Alex had also stepped away from the world of crime and had been herself living in hiding, and so it was now a good time, after four years, for Carole to reveal the truth. As the three friends have a heartfelt reunion, they decide to raise Raoule together. Wingwomen also presents a mid-credits scene but provides no more tease about the plot, as we only see bloopers from the film’s shooting phase.