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During the middle of the 16th century, Martin Guerre returns to his village in southwestern France, after being away in the war for almost a decade. The villagers who knew him as a young man suspect he is not Martin, but he seems to know all about his friends, his family and his wife, even the most unusual things. Is this man really Martin Guerre? Written by
Michel Rudoy <email@example.com>
This definitive version of the story of Martin Guerre (remade in English with Richard Gere and Jodie Foster as 'Sommersby'; and musicalised in a misguided version by Boublil and Schoenberg) is amongst French actor Gérard Depardieu's greatest roles. As the bluff, romantic, sensitive soldier who returns to the village after years away (or does he?) he manages to provoke all sorts of reactions from his other on-screen characters as well as the film's audience.
As Bernadette de Rols, the wife seeking love and companionship, Nathalie Baye is superb; while a large and talented cast give flesh to the remaining characters. I defy anyone to see this adaptation and not be moved by it; try and see in the cinema, where it undoubtedly has more power than on a small screen; and avoid the version dubbed into English. 'Le Retour de Martin Guerre' need to survive with its language and poetry intact.
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