Monday, November 16, 2009

Bellamy: Claude Chabrol

LFF: Gerard Depardieu has been on a roll since his 2006 triumph in Xavier Giannoli's 'The Singer'. He's on equally ggod form in the latest from Claude Chabrol. This mischievous and laid-back thriller is the veteran director's double tribute to two men called Georges - writer Simenon and much-loved songsmith Brassens. Depardieu plays Paul Bellamy, an eminent policeman taking a holiday with his wife (Marie Brunel) but unable to turn off his detective instinct. His curiosity is piqued by the murky case of a mysterious fugitive (Jacques Gamblin) and a local femme fatale (Vahina Giocante) - and complicated further when Bellamy's troublesome brother (Clovis Cornillac) turns up unannounced. Remarkably, this is the first ever collaboration between Chabrol and Depardieu, and the two veterans take to each other like a treat. The film finds them both in affable, relaxed mode - but that makes this entertaining divertissement no less taut and devious, while terrific performances from Bunel and Cornillac highlight the psychological tensions of the Bellamy household. Depardieu willing, the Maigret-esque Bellamy could provide Chabrol with his first continuing character since his Inspector Lavardin (Cop au Vin) of the 80s.

MGP: This played out partly as a psychological drama and partly as a near policier which had some puzzling moments. At first it appeared that the story was one of a holidaying detective, Departieum taking an unofficial interest in a local murder but the arrival of his dissolute brother changed the tenor of the film. There were moments when one wondered if the brother was somehow involved in the crime and others when it seemed that he and Departieu's wife were cuckolding him, especially since the wife had been much friendlier towards the brother's staying. Whether the latter was true of not, it did not detract from the way in which Departieu teased out the answer to the crime. A quiet, almost bucolic, thriller which was well made and acted by the main leads.

1 comment:

pppatty said...

I thought all three male leads did a fine job, but as I have said elsewhere, Chabrol's thrillers are becoming less thrilling every year.