Franck Poupart is a slightly neurotic door-to-door salesman in a sinister part of Paris' suburbs. He meets Mona, a teenager, who's been made a prostitute by her own aunt. Franck would like ...
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Franck Poupart is a slightly neurotic door-to-door salesman in a sinister part of Paris' suburbs. He meets Mona, a teenager, who's been made a prostitute by her own aunt. Franck would like to change his life and also save Mona from her aunt. Murder is the only solution he finds to achieve his goal... A very gloomy movie, exuding dispair and uneasiness, with pathetic characters.Written by
Alain Corneau is part of the fixture in French cinema and delivered highly estimable pieces of work throughout his career. Hence the diversity of the genres he explored either it is the adventure film with "Nocturne Indien" (1989), probably his finest hour or the detective film with "Police Python 357" (1976) or "la Menace" (1977). Nominated for the Golden Palm in Cannes in 1979 and for several French Ocsars the following year, "Série Noire" is generally regarded as the filmmaker's peak as far as detective film is concerned. I don't share this enthusiasm at all.
True, Corneau hired the services of two of the greatest Actors, France has ever had: Patrick Dewaere and Bernard Blier shine in their respective acting and one can't say who is the grimmest of the two. They evolve in dreary scenery rightly enhanced by a somber cinematography to confer the film a depressing atmosphere. Corneau shot his film on a shoestring budget and a reduced crew to better involve emotionally the audience.
However, I'm not convinced at all by Dewaere's downward spiral who contemplates to steal the old lady's loot. Corneau doesn't leave enough clues likely to shed his demeanor and his motivations to do it. Then, if Corneau wished to highlight his tragical fate, he partly failed. The fact that Dewaere is trapped in a vicious circle because he is a victim of fatality leaves me deeply unimpressed. Mainly because once again Corneau doesn't make it obvious on the screen. And I found Marie Trintignant's lifeless acting more irritating than gripping.
So what remains are indisputable assets such as the acting and the choice of scenery but that's all. Definitely not the Corneau to which I would return.
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