1950’s Paris. A murder mystery. A loveable lead character in Gérard Depardieu aka Detective Maigret. Here you have an entertaining French film that is both an easy watch and mildly captivating.
The film is based on the novel Maigret by Georges Simenon and I have not read the book, so I will not proclaim to be informed on its adaptation to film. Here are some honest thoughts about the film itself, and if you are a huge fan of the book, you should definitely see the film. Perhaps you will be pleasantly surprised.
Elements of considered camera work, aptly placed sound effects and a reasonable score lead viewers to feel attracted to this film. But there are only few moments of impressive cinematography. Which is okay! Not every film has to be shot as dramatically as a David Attenborough scene in which a gazelle sprints through the savannah in slow-mo while the cheetah chases it. But if you are going to rely on the script and the talent of the cast, then you need to at least deliver the story convincingly. I found the ‘mystery’ a bit too predictable, but that’s the risk you run when condensing a book into a 90 minute film. The lack of depth and mystery left me feeling somewhat underwhelmed at the conclusion.
Things to like about this film include a convincing performance from Gérard Depardieu who so perfectly depicts the role of middle-aged, likeable, but gruff detective. His character development was pleasing and comfort can be found in his ‘good guy’ persona. Though, I have to disclose that the ending doesn’t leave you with much of a resolution about his future and actually confuses the ending. Elements of witty humour and some notable Parisian scenes are thoroughly enjoyable and help you to feel connected to the characters. We also get to watch the beginnings of a faux father-daughter relationship develop with Maigret and another protagonist Betty (Jade Labeste) who does well as the young, troubled rural girl trying to live in Paris. This relationship, like others in the film, could have been given more thought and exploration. There’s a missed opportunity here to enthrall the audience more.
Despite the lack of mystery for my appetite, there’s no doubt this film is entertaining and worth a watch if you are seeking some inside entertainment in this cooler weather. Plus the Luna is always a beautiful venue.
Tickets and session times at the Palace Cinemas website: https://lunapalace.com.au/coming-soon+4884+maigret