Since the beginning, with its beautiful and yet frightening opening credits, I knew this was going to be good. I just didn't expect the suspense to grip me for the whole series! The characters are believable, the dialogues, cincelés on real life, and the city is beautiful, but evil is always there. Unlike other series like "Central Nuit" in here emotions aren't prefabricated, or forced upon us. I can understand that the viewer feels nothing, and I guess it'd be fine too, for this is a personal view. If you are lucky enough to be "catched" by the story, you just won't forget it. Yes, there are a few "plot twists" but they are not forced, they follow the natural course of events. What is more, many things remain unexplained, like the violence Capt. Janvier did to the judge, the ending, or his relationship with his malade dad. It's unusual to see a "hero" cry, let alone doing so without being just another trick to blackmail us into feelings, like the Argentine writer J. L. Borges used to quip about (bad) cinema. The wife "Suzanne" is fine in an almost secondary character (good for a change not having half of the movie showing how "work interferes with family". And the daughter, "Caroline" is pivotal into getting us into the flow of things. She acts finely, but I suspect the plot, direction photography, music and other aspects get us to suspend S. Coleridge's "suspension of disbelief" necessary for Art to happen.
"Hand camera" photography conveys the tension of the characters. So is the "zoomed" view of about half of the story. "Bologne-sur-Mer" seems hauntingly eerie, with its modern wind mills, small city life, beautiful old town buildings and close-knit relationships. Music, what music! The use of a couple of very well known pieces as a leimotif of what happens goes straight to the point.
Le sous-lieutenant is also fine. Like Morse's "Lewis", but less stereotyped. What I liked most, and makes this stand apart from 95% of cinema, is that I felt empathy for the characters. They are not "likable", at least not in the usual sense. They are real. Besides that, I feared for his daughter since we got the "profile" of the victims.
There were no predictable scenes (at all). The underworld of brothels and sleazy bars is very well depicted. And "Lisa" as a nice cold hooker is just... perfect for the role! She takes part in probably the most beautiful closing scene of the series, when she is coming from behind of Janvier. I really didn't know at all what was to happen!! I think the fact of the small virgin in the sand does NOT mean anything like what bad horror flicks would "The killer is out there" but just that evil still exists, even if some has been dealt with.
Conclusion: If you like the genre, don't miss it!!
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