André Mercier, a journalist known as Albin Mercier, is a failed, embittered writer. Sent to cover an event in Germany, he gets to know Andreas Hartmann, another writer who, for his part, ... See full summary »
André Mercier, a journalist known as Albin Mercier, is a failed, embittered writer. Sent to cover an event in Germany, he gets to know Andreas Hartmann, another writer who, for his part, has not... failed. The successful Andreas is married to Hélène, a beautiful Frenchwoman. Both attracted to her and jealous of the couple's happiness, Mercier decides to shatter it. Taking advantage of the absence of Andreas, off on a business trip, he tries to seduce Hélène and to become her lover. But things do not go according to plan... Written by
I must say that I never fully appreciated Claude Chabrol´s movies. I know that he´s considered to be French (and European) Hitchcock and master of suspense, thrillers and mystery. But after watching several of his pictures, I still couldn´t make up my mind. That means, if I saw one good Chabrol´s movie (for example:The Ceremony or Dr.M) I would see at least 3 bad ones (for example:Madamme Bovary, The Butcher, Thank You for the Chocolate) and so on. But this was all before I´ve seen "L´Oeil du malin" (English translation: The Eye of Evil). This film showed all qualities of a Chabrol as a director and it´s one of the best French thrillers I have seen. In a certain way, it reminded me of one particular book written by Patricia Highsmith and movie adaptation of that book directed by Anthony Minghella. It´s title was "Talented Mr.Ripley". Ii has (more or less) the same premise. A very happy, rich and "artsy" family meets an intruder - mysterious friendly and strange person (and very psychotic on the inside). But, while Tom Ripley was just a lonely persona that needed attention, Albin Mercier is quite the opposite. While Tom liked that couples happiness (just a little too much), Albin hated it. What I like the most about this movie (and Chabol´s thrillers in general) is the lack of too many explanations. I think that it´s the main problem with pulpish and naive American suspense movies like "Don´t Say a Word" or "Kiss the Girls", the main villain must at the end of the picture explain his reasons for certain behavior. He (or she) has probably been mistreated as a child or he lived some God awful tragedy and silly, pointless stuff like that. When will they understand that You just can´t rationalise like that a person and You will never be able to say why is a certain person a good person or a bad one. Chabrol and "The Eye of Evil" understands that. And that´s it. Maybe I should add that besides this point, the movie is also not at all predictable and it showed some smooth acting, specially by the lead Jacques Charrier. It´s just a shame that Claude very rarely lived high expectations set in this picture, which is one of his earliest efforts.
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