How tempting!A serial killer which would not be like the other ones.Here the "criminal" does not kill himself,he invites his victims to read "Tristan and Iseut" ( a hardback edition is de rigueur),then to live with him a passionate affair like the two doomed lovers ;and as their love is "impossible" he lets them down... and all that is left for them is commit suicide.Since we had not heard from "Tristan and Iseut" since Cocteau's and Delannoy' s "l'éternel retour" ,this could have been a godsend.
Alas it's not good news;first of all the choice of the actress:Mathilde Seigner is not very attractive -even when she tries her best to be- and how could we believe she is a captain?A female Maigret she is definitely not.Nicole Garcia ,cast as a mischievous shrink working for the Police, steals the show right under her nose and that actress's lines are the only ones in the whole film which display a sense of humor.You should hear her say: "Such a story could not happen to you.What man would have a passionate affair with a woman like you?" On the other hand ,the captain's mother is not funny at all with her gigot which returns every fifteen minutes .Definitely exasperating.And what about poor Michel Duchaussoy -a Claude Chabrol's favorite- and his part of an almost gaga daddy? Actually if the ending dissatisfies ,it's because one has enough of these "unexpected-twists" ,particularly when they come at the most awkward moment ;if I should give you a clue,I 'd say it's in the Hitchcock's "suspicion" cum Christie's "Roger Ackroyd" mold.
What could have given a renewed life to the serial killer genre becomes an harmless little thriller with happy end (and gigot).
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