Though highly praised by the leftish critics when it was released,"Plus ça va,moins ça va " appears today for what it is: another of these after-May-68 flicks where the cops are nothing but dumb brutes for whom a good Arab is a dead Arab -as if only the cops were racist in a country-They are searching for a killer who slew a girl (in a horrible way)and that leads them to the desirable properties of posh showbiz people in the south of France:there's the rub:these characters are only sketches,silhouettes,they are inconsistent;for instance ,the has-been actor played by Louis Jourdan ,a French lover type who used to work with more interesting directors (Hitchcock;Minnelli;Max Ophuls),who dresses himself up as a clown to commit suicide would have made a stunning sequence,had the character been given some life before.Mort Shuman's (you read well:one of Elvis Presley's songwriters who teamed up with Doc Pomus) character,talking about death ,would have been very moving too,when we know he would pass away some years later.
Jean-Pierre Marielle and Jean Carmet,who play the stupid detectives,had already teamed up three years before ,in Yves Boisset's "Dupont-Lajoie " which also dealt with racism:some will say that Vianey's film is subtler,more "intellectual" than Boisset's down-to -earth style;that's all right but leave it to highbrows and get "Dupont-Lajoie".
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