Inspector Lavardin is induced to investigate the murder of a province's notable who was taking himself as the moral guardian of his village. The perspective of the inquiry changes when the ... See full summary »
Inspector Lavardin is induced to investigate the murder of a province's notable who was taking himself as the moral guardian of his village. The perspective of the inquiry changes when the inspector recognizes the widow as one of his youthful loves. Written by
Jean-Marie Berthiaume <email@example.com>
In the middle of the eighties, it would be interesting to see what the survivors of the New Wavelet have become. Well, François Truffaut passed away in 1984 and Eric Rohmer persists in signing empty, sloppy films to show his "skills" at film-making. Her majesty Jean-Luc "God Ard" only keeps his small handful of faithful intellectual ones happy with his hermetic products like "Détective" (1985) or "je Vous Salue Marie" (1985). Same judgment for Jacques Rivette who drive many movie-goers indifferent with his version of "les Hauts De Hurlevents" (1985) (Wuthering Heights).
Fortunately, there's still Claude Chabrol to deliver us a worthy, understandable film even if his production as a whole is patchy. In 1985, "Poulet Au Vinaigre" boosted his career again and so the temptation to give it a sequel was inevitable. "Inspecteur Lavardin" is the heir of the 1985 film and features again the same main character plunged in the same bourgeois universe, in a different provincial town this time in Dinand in Brittany. He's still acted by Jean Poiret who seemed irreplaceable in this role.
The writer Raoul Mons was found murdered on the beach and Lavardin has to find the culprit. His investigation is the opportunity for Chabrol to break the respectable appearance of the upper-class milieu but also to include unexpected twists about the plot, notably when Lavardin found who the murderer is. Like in "Poulet Au Vinaigre", humor is the main motor of the film, notably with the way Lavardin employs to make his suspects talk. More than in the 1985 film, the witty personality of this maverick cop is more precise and deepened for the audience.
"Inspectur Lavardin" isn't as intense as "la Femme Infidèle" (1969) or "le Boucher" (1970) but with a palatable story and good acting in the bargain, it would be a shame to skip it. In 1988, a TV series entitled "les dossiers secrets De l'inspector Lavardin" will be launched and four installments will be shot.
NB: video and TV play an important role in the film. It must have given an idea to Chabrol about the direction his next film would take: "Masques" (1987).
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