From Montmartre to the remote French countryside, Maigret encounters the dark side of the human psyche. Yet, he manages to maintain both compassion and a sense of humor as he explores the complex motives that lie behind every crime.
Over a five month period in 1955 four women are stabbed to death in Montmartre after dark, a prostitute and a midwife among them - women with nothing in common beyond being brunette. Justice minister Morel leans on chief Inspector Maigret to catch the murderer and Maigret sets a trap, using policewoman Marthe Jusserard as a decoy. She survives an attack, sartorial evidence leading to married mother's boy Marcel Moncin, whom Maigret arrests. However whilst Moncin is in custody there is a further murder and Maigret looks to Moncin's family to help solve the murders.Written by
don @ minifie-1
Maigret detective stories comprise just a small part of the immensely prolific Simenon's oeuvre. However, Georges Simenon is best known exactly because of the Maigret character. I've read Maigret stories since childhood, and early on I was fascinated not so much with the "clever" story lines and plots, but because of somewhat lazy and disorganized ways in which eponymous detective and his associates in general operate. This adaptation catches very good all the important traits of a Maigret novel. Dangerous and focused killer of women is on the loose in the Montmartre quartier, Paris is on the brink because nobody sleeps peacefully until he is captured, Maigret works hard but cannot find a breakthrough. His men know that nobody but him will find a murderer, but higher officials are asking for closure. So Maigret will have to embark on a dangerous cat and mouse game with the killer, in which other innocent lives will be put in danger. So far, for those not familiar with cool detective, nothing exceptional. But, everything is so Simenon, and so Maigret, that you enjoy the slow flow and unraveling of the many seemingly unimportant scenes and subplots in this very well crafted movie. There are poor and struggling families with small children that will loose their mother; there are inner courtyards where housekeepers lurk behind their curtains and labourers drag their tired feet. There are lots of basement wine bars with barrels and men nurturing their glass of wine, beer or cognac. There are lots of young hardworking women, all of them attractive in their cheap after war dresses and blouses. Some of them are telephone operators, some of them strippers and dancers, and there is entire police squad of brave young women ready to risk their lives on the dangerous streets of Paris, no questions asked. And of course, there are suspects, quirky aspiring upper middle class characters in their slick apartments, struggling to appear respectable but hiding terrible secrets. More hardboiled police officers, dungeons of Quay d'Orfevre full of shady alkoholics, drug users and other sinners. Journalists, thirsty of any information but some of them familiar of Maigret's way of operating. And, yes, in the middle is Maigret, the detective with his pipe who is never in hurry. Rowan Atkinson was somewhat surprising choice, but he did excellent work impersonating french detective. Recommendable!
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